After spending its early years being condemned by the chip industry’s superpowers, overclocking is now catching up with Simon Cowell when it comes to mainstream attention. Not only has Intel already introduced its Turbo Boost technology to automatically overclock CPU cores on the fly, but now AMD looks set to follow suit.
The techie chaps over at Xbit Labs (opens in new tab) claim that AMD plans to introduce its own equivalent to Turbo Boost with the forthcoming six-core Phenom II X6 (opens in new tab) "Thuban" CPU. After talking to sources close to the company, the site says, "Thuban processors will automatically disable idle cores and overclock the remaining engines to the maximum possible level that is determined by general thermal design power."
Although AMD hasn’t officially confirmed this, the company did publish a patent (opens in new tab) for “Automatic Processor Overclocking” on 17 September 2009, so it clearly sees some potential in the idea.
The patent outlines a system that automatically overclocks one or more cores if a the “Entry” criteria are reached, which include the core’s temperature and thermal design power. As well as increasing the clock speed, the patent also shows that the voltage applied to each core could be increased too. The core clock speeds and voltages will then be reduced again once the “Exit” criteria are reached.
According to Xbit Labs, the technology is presently called “C-state performance boost,” and it's built into the hardware, meaning that any operating system that supports six processor cores can take advantage of it.
We’ve asked AMD to comment on this, and we’ll update you if and when we get any more information.