Four new energy management features in the POWER7+™ chip enable larger reductions in chip power consumption and further increase energy efficiency of the system during runtime compared with prior POWER7® systems. First, per-core power gating reduces idle power consumption by allowing the system to turn off the voltage to the processor cores when they are not being used. Second, real-time measurement and control of operational guardband allows for higher maximum clock frequency as well as better dynamic voltage selection to reduce power. Third, per-thread utilization counters enable the firmware to sense processor utilization on a finer granularity and set per-core frequency targets with greater accuracy. Finally, a per-core memory access counter allows firmware to more accurately account for power consumption and budget it on a per-processor core basis. These hardware capabilities together enable new EnergyScale™ firmware functions that include voltage optimization to achieve higher turbo frequencies under stressful environmental conditions, automated idle state detection and management, per-core adaptive frequency scaling, and online power modeling for real-time estimation of energy savings.
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