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AMD to switch on better Opteron power management

Computers with AMD's Opteron processor will soon be able to take advantage of the same power management technology the company...

Computers with AMD's Opteron processor will soon be able to take advantage of the same power management technology...

the company has already built into its laptop and desktop microchips.

Called PowerNow, the technology is a combination of microprocessor instructions and operating system software that increases or reduces the amount of power supplied to the chip depending on how much it is being used.

AMD consumer software strategist Margaret Lewis said PowerNow was similar in concept to the Cool'n'Quiet technology used in AMD desktop systems, and would be useful in server systems, where it can save on electricity and cooling costs in datacentres. "It's kind of like the fan in your car knowing to kick in when your engine reaches a certain temperature," she said.

Lewis said PowerNow instructions had been built into the Opteron processor since May. Customers who have already purchased systems based on these chips will be able to activate PowerNow via a BIOS upgrade, available on AMD's website, when system support for PowerNow becomes generally available in the first half of 2005.

Robert McMillan wdrites for IDG News Service

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