AMD's Piledriver To Break 4GHz Clock Barrier, Use New Resonant Clock Mesh Tech

Brad Chacos

Has it already been almost five months since AMD's Bulldozer chips launched? Somehow, it has -- and that means it's time for the old info train to start rolling about Bulldozer's follow up, better known as "Piledriver." AMD has apparently been paying attention to our pleas for better, faster, MOAR because this week the company announced it was licensing new resonant clock mesh technology from Cyclos Semiconductor to help push Piledriver's clock speed over the 4GHz barrier.

The Cyclos technology fit right into the standard design and manufacturing processes AMD already had established for Piledriver, so its implementation shouldn't delay the new core in any way, according to a press release by Cyclos. The company says its technology will "reduce clock distribution power up to 24% while maintaining the low clock-skew target required by high-performance processors."

Here's Cyclos' Cliff's Notes version of how the resonant clock mesh tech works:

Cyclos resonant clock mesh technology employs on-chip inductors to create an electric pendulum, or “tank circuit”, formed by the large capacitance of the clock mesh in parallel with the Cyclos inductors. The Cyclos inductors and clock control circuits “recycle” the clock power instead of dissipating it on every clock cycle like in a clock tree implementation, which results in a reduction in total IC power consumption of up to 10% .

Basically, the tech can be used to hit higher clock speeds or higher power efficiency. Dan Ganousis, a VP from Cyclos Semiconductor, explained the technology more in-depth to the deep minds over at SemiWiki.com. Check out the link to learn about the nitty-gritty details.

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