AMD creates commercial resonant clock mesh

Fabless chipmaker AMD said that it has managed to create the first commercial implementation of resonant clock mesh technology by using systems licensed from startup company Cyclos Semiconductor.

According to eeTimes,  the technology is a method of power-saving clock distribution technology for x86-compatible processor cores.

It will be seen in Opteron server processors and client APUs, AMD said.

Cyclos initially worked with ARM believing that the British outfit would be the first commercial demonstration of the technology. However, it looks like AMD’s Piledriver 64-bit core beat them to the punch.

The Piledriver will run at about 4-GHz and will be the first volume production-enabled implementation of resonant clock mesh technology.

Piledriver is fabricated in a 32-nm CMOS process. It uses the resonant clocking to reduce clock distribution power by up to 24 percent, while maintaining previous clock-skew targets, Cylos said. Clock mesh technology uses on-chip inductors which work with the large capacitance of the clock signal distribution network, to form an oscillating “tank circuit.”

As a result, the inductors and clock control circuits recycle the clock power instead of dissipating it on every clock cycle – as conventional clock tree implementations do.

It will save about ten percent of IC power.