CPU Power States (C-States)
CPU C-states occur in the global system G0 state. Users may not notice it when they are using the computer, unless monitoring tools like CPU-Z is used to inspect the clock speed and voltage. C-state implementations are processor-specific. Mobile processors usually have more C-states than desktop processors. For example, the mobile Core 2 Duo processor (Merom) supports C0 to C4 states, whereas the desktop Core 2 Duo processor (Conroe) only supports C0 and C1 states.
C0 State (Active)
- This is the CPU's maximum working state, where it is actively accepting instructions and processing data.
- Power saving is virtually zero, unless the CPU has P-state power management enabled.
C1 State (Halt)
- It is simply done by executing the assembly instruction “HLT” (Halt).
- This will stop the instruction pipeline within the CPU from executing any instructions.
- Wake-up time is ultra fast (only about 10 nano seconds).
- The CPU is able to save up to 70% of its maximum power consumption.
- All modern processors must support this power state.
C2 State (Stop Grant)
- The processor core clock and platform I/O buffers are gated.
- In other words, the clock does not exist in the processor execution engines and I/O buffers.
- The benefit over C1 is that the C2 state is able to save 70% of the CPU's maximum power plus some platform power.
- However, the transition time from C2 to C0 is 10 times more (~100 nano seconds).
C3 State (Deep Sleep)
- The bus clock and PLLs are gated.
- In a multi-processor system, the processors no longer handle FSB snoops to maintain cache coherency. Cache contents are invalidated.
- In a single-processor system, memory transactions are prohibited but cache contents are not invalidated.
- CPU still saves around 70% power, but the platform power will be reduced even more than C2.
- Wake up time is 500 times longer than C2 (about 50 micro seconds).
C4 State (Deeper Sleep)
- It is similar to the C3 state, but with two main differences.
- First, the core voltage is reduced to a very low level (less than 1.0V) to decrease current leakage.
- Second, data stored in the L2 cache will be reduced bit by bit over time.
- The CPU can save around 98% of its maximum power.
- Wake-up time is slower, but still much lower than 1 second (~160 micro seconds).
- When the data in the L2 cache is reduced to zero.
- Wake-up time is more than 200 micro seconds.
- New power management feature in Penryn.
- When the L2 cache contents are shrunk to zero, the CPU will go into an even lower core voltage.
- CPU context is no longer preserved.
- Power consumption is currently unknown. Should be near zero.
- Wake-up time is currently unknown.
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