Mobile CPU Chart Update and Forecast

AMD’s New Mobile Platform “Puma”

While we were busy finding an appropriate testing platform, getting all the AMD Turion 64 X2 processors and adding them to our Mobile CPU Charts, AMD has been working on its next-generation mobile platform. Platform? Yes. AMD is on the right track by not only launching a new processor, but it will also offer an adequate chipset itself.

Processor: Turion 64 Ultra (Griffin)

The new mobile processor will be a new 65-nm part that is based on the AMD64 architecture, but garnished with several components from the Stars architecture that is being used by the Phenom processors. The improved features are a HyperTransport 3.0 interface, which offers way more bandwidth than Intel’s Front Side Bus, more L2 cache memory and a faster DDR2 memory controller that now supports DDR2-800 SO-DIMMs. The HT link can be switched off when it’s not needed.

The code-named Griffin processor might be called Turion 64 Ultra and it will have larger L2 caches (2x 1 MB), which are still independent of each other. AMD has deliberately followed this path, as the processor will be supplied with different power inputs [power planes], which will be applied separately to different parts of the CPU and surrounding chipset: one for each of the processing cores to enable the power saving mechanisms to control them totally independently from each other, and the third one for the main memory channel. This allows the platform to put one or even both processors into a C4 state (deeper sleep), while the main memory can still be accessed by the integrated graphics unit.

In addition to this, the PowerNow! energy saving feature is now based on a finer granularity and runs the cores at full speed and at seven other speeds down to only 1/8 of the core clock speed. For a 2.0- to 2.4 GHz clock speed range, this equals a 250-300 MHz minimum clock speed. And there still are the C1 and C3 states (halt and deep sleep), followed by the C4 option mentioned above.