AMD Turbo Dock balances your tablet's performance and battery life

By on February 21, 2013, 6:00 PM

AMD recently announced a new innovation for tablets and hybrid PCs that will be shown off at Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona. It’s called AMD Turbo Dock and in a nutshell, it allows the system to adjust performance based on whether or not the tablet is docked.

It’s AMD’s belief that when a user docks a tablet or hybrid in a keyboard dock, they will be doing more complex tasks like content creation. As such, Turbo Dock will be able to boost the CPU and GPU performance by up to 40 percent when docked.

Conversely, when the user removes the display and uses the system as a tablet, Turbo Dock will throttle the system down to conserve battery life under the assumption that you’re using the slate for less strenuous tasks like watching a video or surfing the web.

The technology is expected to appear later this year on systems built around AMD’s 28-nanometer Temash SoC with Radeon HD Graphics. Temash is the company’s latest ultra-low power mobile processor designed for Windows 8 tablets and hybrids that’s said to deliver up to five times the graphics performance of the competition’s x86 tablet solution.

AMD says they will have dual-core and quad-core versions of the processor on hand at MWC next week. Systems powered by AMD’s new processor are expected sometime later this year although at this point, no manufacturers have come forward with plans to build a Temash-based slate.




User Comments: 4

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1 person liked this | EEatGDL said:

I don't want to be a killjoy, but actually isn't it relatively simple with some programming with listeners to just adjust the power saving parameters automatically? I mean, is nothing that needs any extra hardware or chip development to achieve. It's all just about knowing when you dock and undock your tablet and changing some system settings, similar to what the OS does in an energy plan when you switch between battery and AC in a laptop. For example, I set my "balanced" energy plan to use only a maximum of 2 cores and not use TurboBoost with battery and a maximum of 4 cores and one of them double-threaded (5 threads max) with TurboBoost on AC power, enabling me up to 5 hours of use with battery; 10 hours on economizer with battery with my i7 and other settings.

It isn't a great innovation, maybe just if they offer the same for all tablet platforms (Android, iOS and Windows) is kind of a job done that probably hasn't been done. They don't say how much it improves battery life, just the clock speeds I guess (is marketing, so it can't be overall performance).

A decent programmer can easily do that for Intel and AMD in Windows, to listen to some kind of system event like plugging in a keyboard I guess [or anyway the dock is detected in the device manager] and modifying some specific settings in the registry related to the current energy plan when docking or undocking. Just saying.

jacques said:

Hp, dell, ibm has been doing that for years

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I also want to be put on the list of people not impressed. I didn't see it mentioned in the article but I hope there is a way to turn it off too. Lets say I was just going to need to use it for an hour or less without the dock, I wouldn't be real happy if I was stuck in 'sluggish performance mode' the whole time.

Guest said:

WTF agreed it sounds like some gimicky software throttler. Herp Derp fail. Why would you not make an amazing hardware booster.

e.g runs 2 cores in tablet mode. Runs 4 cores with dedicated graphics when you plug it in.

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