"Some poems are best
when the writer writes what he needs to say
and then does not write anymore
Sometimes too many words just get in the way"
-- From "The Problem With Long Poems" by Ralph J. Fitcher, 2009

What Fitcher said about poetry in this tribute to National Poetry Month also applies to semiconductors: Less is more sometimes:

One of the tricks that makes the Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) Nehalem family of processors so impressive is the ability to shut down a few of its many processing units and reroute the power to the ones that are still running. Many applications don't gain much from having a plethora of processor cores available and run better with fewer but faster cores instead. That's why this strategy can improve the performance of your system while keeping power consumption level.

Today, Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) presented a similar solution for its own processors, starting with a line of refreshed Phenom II chips due in the second and third quarters of this year. AMD's Turbo CORE technology is less sophisticated than Intel's Turbo Boost as its Phenom chips will simply lower the speeds of a few processing units rather than turning them off entirely. Still, the power savings and performance boost should be significant and many would say that this move is long overdue.

Clever manufacturing tricks from AMD's separated manufacturing unit GlobalFoundries will keep the new Phenoms running as cool as their older brothers -- despite significant performance upgrades. With the Turbo feature on top of that and early signs of very competitive pricing, these chips should move plenty of unit sales for system builders like Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), Acer, and Lenovo.

The Phenom II is meant for desktop computers, but Turbo CORE and the related manufacturing improvements should work their way into server and laptop chips soon enough. Rather than waiting for GlobalFoundries to catch up with Intel's next-generation manufacturing process and work up a complete match for Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, AMD designed a partial Turbo technology. Less is more sometimes, and something is always better than nothing -- just ask Yahoo! and Microsoft why they're doing a search partnership after a failed merger and you'll see what I mean.

Should AMD have cut a few more words from this poem even if it meant months of delays, or is this the sensible middle road? I'm going with "sensible," but feel free to discuss AMD's strategy in the comments below.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in AMD, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Intel and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. The Fool has created a covered strangle position on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended a buy calls position on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.