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AMD debuting power-efficient quad-core Barcelona feature

Ryan Block, @ryan

When you think quad-core CPU, current draw may not be the first concern that comes to your mind -- unless you administer a few dozen or hundred such boxes, in which case electricity, airflow, and air conditioning are no longer mere minor concerns. Thankfully for quad-core AMD hopefuls, their new Barcelona chip will feature an enhanced PowerNow setup that allows each of the chips four cores to operate at four varying clock speeds, independent of one another and depending on load. Despite adding another couple cores to the die, AMD claims this will help cut power by another 10 watts per chip (which definitely adds up in aggregate); we do sincerely hope they're right. We'll find out more when the Barcelona makes yet another splash, this time at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC).

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