AMD PowerNow! for Solaris

One of my earlier blog entries announced Enhanced Intel SpeedStep support in Solaris. At the tail end of that blog entry, I mentioned that AMD PowerNow! support in Solaris was not far off. And so it was. PowerNow! support for AMD processor families 10h and greater is now available in Solaris 10 Update 5 and OpenSolaris.

If you are wondering what AMD processor family 10h is, then you should be thinking of newer AMD processors like Barcelona. If you have Solaris running on your system you can retrieve the CPU family value via the cpu_info kstat:

kstat -m cpu_info -i 0 -s implementation        
module: cpu_info                        instance: 0     
name:   cpu_info0                       class:    misc
        implementation                  x86 (chipid 0x0 AuthenticAMD 100F23
family 16 model 2 step 3 clock 2000 MHz)

Note that the family value is printed in decimal, so the family value of 16 above is equivalent to 10 in hex and so, PowerNow! support exists in Solaris for this CPU.

The easiest way to tell if your Solaris AMD system supports PowerNow! is to display the new supported_frequencies_Hz kstat statistic that has been added to the cpu_info module:

$ kstat -m cpu_info -i 0 -s supported_frequencies_Hz
module: cpu_info                        instance: 0     
name:   cpu_info0                       class:    misc
        supported_frequencies_Hz
1000000000:1200000000:1400000000:1700000000:2000000000

The existence of more than one frequency in the list above indicates that Solaris supports frequency scaling of the CPU. To enable CPU power management on Solaris x86, a "cpupm" entry must be added to the power.conf(4) file. Additionally, a "cpu-threshold" entry can be added to power.conf(4) to define an idleness value by which the CPU can be power managed.

I frequently enable CPU power management on my Barcelona-based system and set its CPU idle threshold by adding the following two entries to my power.conf(4) file:

cpupm            enable
cpu-threshold    15s

After leaving my system idle for 15 seconds or more, I can see PowerNow in action by displaying the newly introduced current_clock_Hz kstat statistic:

kstat -m cpu_info -i 0 -s current_clock_Hz       
module: cpu_info                        instance: 0     
name:   cpu_info0                       class:    misc
        current_clock_Hz                1000000000
My CPU is now running at its lowest supported frequency, 1.0 GHz. This should save power and generate less heat. Cool!
Comments:

"support for AMD processor families 10h and greater will be available in Solaris 10 Update 5" - given that update 5 has been out for a while, I wonder whether this is supposed to say "is available" or update 6?

Posted by Mads on May 06, 2008 at 05:19 AM PDT #

Any plans to expand support to slightly older processors? I'll volunteer my laptop for testing...

module: cpu_info instance: 0
name: cpu_info0 class: misc
implementation x86 (chipid 0x0 AuthenticAMD 40F82 family 15 model 72 step 2 clock 1808 MHz)

Posted by jim on July 21, 2008 at 04:36 AM PDT #

I'd also be interested in support for family 15. I have a
Turion X2 (60F82, model 104) based laptop running at 2100 Mhz
which I'd be happy to test this on.

Posted by george on October 23, 2008 at 04:44 PM PDT #

Another member of the family 15 here ;). Dual core opteron on a Dell T105 . x86 (chipid 0x0 AuthenticAMD 40F33 family 15 model 67 step 3 clock 2210 MHz) .

Using opensolaris though.

Posted by Jisakiel on November 04, 2008 at 06:36 AM PST #

Hello,

i got a AMD Turion CPU, within linux it got the following Steps: 2 GHz, 1.8 GHz, 1.6 GHz and 800 MHz - within OpenSolaris i have only 2 GHz :) Can i help somehow by submitting Data to get my cpu supported? (As i know.. it's supported in other OS's)

Posted by Chani on November 28, 2008 at 10:44 PM PST #

Also Turion here without support:

amnon@amnonslaptop:~$ kstat -m cpu_info -i 0 -s implementation
module: cpu_info instance: 0
name: cpu_info0 class: misc
implementation x86 (AuthenticAMD 20F42 family 15 model 36 step 2 clock 1592 MHz)

amnon@amnonslaptop:~$ kstat -m cpu_info -i 0 -s supported_frequencies_Hz
module: cpu_info instance: 0
name: cpu_info0 class: misc
supported_frequencies_Hz 1591805418

amnon@amnonslaptop:~$

linux supports this cpu

Posted by Amnon82 on December 17, 2008 at 07:02 AM PST #

Also Turion X2... I like OpenSolaris but it's unusable without Powernow on my Acer Ferrari 1005. Just good for baking eggs :-)

Posted by Mike0108 on April 28, 2009 at 11:07 PM PDT #

Hi, thank you for the information...

Posted by Turion Processor on May 25, 2009 at 02:43 PM PDT #

Seems that there's no news for AMD Turion Users. ;)

SunOS HP-Brett 5.11 snv_122 i86pc i386 i86pc Solaris

No luck with my HP nx 6325 :-(

ernd@HP-Brett:~$ kstat -m cpu_info -i 0 -s implementation
module: cpu_info instance: 0
name: cpu_info0 class: misc
implementation x86 (chipid 0x0 AuthenticAMD 40F82 family 15 model 72 step 2 clock 1600 MHz)

bernd@HP-Brett:~$ kstat -m cpu_info -i 0 -s supported_frequencies_Hz
module: cpu_info instance: 0
name: cpu_info0 class: misc
supported_frequencies_Hz 1595887949

bernd@HP-Brett:~$

Hopefully we get Powernow for AMD Turion CPU's too. :-(

Posted by Bernd on September 13, 2009 at 08:04 PM PDT #

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