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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).

C5 State

  • When the data in the L2 cache is reduced to zero.
  • Wake-up time is more than 200 micro seconds.

C6 State

  • 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.


<<< Device States (D-States), D-State Examples : Previous Page   |   Next Page : C-States In Multi-Core Processors, CPU Power States Summary >>>

 

 
   
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