Summary:

AMD released its seventh annual “Global Climate Protection Plan” today, highlighting the chip maker’s latest work to reduce the amount of energy required to run its processors, as well as its other energy-saving initiatives. The company’s concentration on energy-saving has been a PR boon for the […]

AMD released its seventh annual “Global Climate Protection Plan” today, highlighting the chip maker’s latest work to reduce the amount of energy required to run its processors, as well as its other energy-saving initiatives.

The company’s concentration on energy-saving has been a PR boon for the company. A few days ago Neal Nelson & Associates put out a report—Standard Methodology for Server Efficiency — that found AMD’s Operton server processors to be more energy efficient than competitor Intel’s Xeon processors. Computer hardware review site Tom’s Hardware recently noted that AMD’s chips in general were more energy efficient overall than those sold by competitor Intel.

“There’s a lot of hype around climate protection now. Everybody is recognizing that they need to contribute to the solution and work together. We don’t presume we are the answer within ourselves. [The report] is our recognition that we need to take a hard look to see what we can do on our own, whether it’s work with others or our customers.” — Steve Groseclose, director of global environmental health and safety at AMD.

One of the most interesting things is that the report looks at the planned power-efficiency features of AMD’s quad-core Opteron processor, “Barcelona”, which is scheduled for introduction sometime in mid-2007. These features include a “redesigned micro architecture that will enable new power- and thermal-management.” Power management built into the chips will allow them to reduce voltage levels when the memory controller runs at full speed.

After AMD reported a $600 million loss for the second quarter on July 19, due in a large part to the ongoing pricing war with Intel, according to EWeek, it’s pretty clear that Barcelona’s success is pretty vital for the company.

We’ll see how well it is received. Here are some other key points from AMD’s Climate Change 2007 Report:

  • AMD’s acquisition of ATI Technologies in 2006 makes it possible for AMD to address the use of energy-efficient technology in consumer electronic devices including TVs and mobile phones.
  • AMD expects that computers built with their desktop and mobile processors can meet or exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR Version 4.0 computer specifications put into effect July 20.
  • In 2006, AMD added DDR2 memory, that uses up to 30 percent less power than prior generation DDR1, and 58 percent less power than another new memory technology FBDIMM.
  • More than 60 percent of total purchased electricity by AMD manufacturing and operations sites in 2006 was sourced from supplies with low global warming impact, including renewable energy sources wind and biogas.

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