PowerPC 970MP Power Saving Features

IBM’s new dual-core PowerPC 970MP processor employs several features to let the chip consume less power when possible. One major feature is that one core can shut down if it’s not needed and can cut the power roughly in half by shutting off one of the cores. Having separate caches allows the computer to shut down one cache along with the processor core if it’s not needed. The chip also can cut its frequency by half or a quarter. Peak power consumption of 100 watts drops to about 60 watts and 40 watts with those moves. In addition, the chip can run in a low-voltage mode that further cuts power. And in a “deep nap” mode, it can cut its frequency to one sixty-fourth of the regular speed. With both cores active but deeply napping, the processor consumes 5 watts; with one, it’s 3 watts.


IBM’s new dual-core PowerPC 970MP processor employs several features to let the chip consume less power when possible. One major feature is that one core can shut down if it’s not needed and can cut the power roughly in half by shutting off one of the cores. Having separate caches allows the computer to shut down one cache along with the processor core if it’s not needed. The chip also can cut its frequency by half or a quarter. Peak power consumption of 100 watts drops to about 60 watts and 40 watts with those moves. In addition, the chip can run in a low-voltage mode that further cuts power. And in a “deep nap” mode, it can cut its frequency to one sixty-fourth of the regular speed. With both cores active but deeply napping, the processor consumes 5 watts; with one, it’s 3 watts.

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