KarbosGuide.com. Module 3e

Module 3e describes the development of 6th generation CPU's. The module is subdivided into the following pages:

The Pentium Pro, father of all P6s
The first Pentium II
The "Deschutes" and the Celerons
The P6-like processors: AMD's K6, K6-2, and Cyrix
The K6-3
The Pentium Xeon
The Pentium III
The Great Athlon
On MMX, 3DNow!, and Katmai
On sockets and roadmaps
On Intel Itanium (codename "Merced") and IA-64
On VIA Joshua
AMD Duron
Intel Pentium 4

I recommend that you read all the pages one by one. Just follow the links "Next page" to get through the textbook. I hope you find the information useful!

Introduction to the 6th generation of CPUs

The first 6th generation CPU was Intel's Pentium Pro from 1995. However, first from 1997 with both AMD's K6 and the Pentium II the 6th generation performances have been available for us all.

The contents:

  • Pentium Pro
  • A giant chip
  • No DOS with PPro
  • Pentium Pro versus Pentium II
  • The next module 3e

    Pentium Pro was an important CPU, since it became the father to the Pentium II, the Celeron, the Pentium III and made the ground other P6-like processors as K6-2.

    Pentium Pro

    Pentium Pro development started in 1991, in Oregon. It was introduced on November 1, 1995.

    The Pentium Pro is a pure RISC processor, optimized for 32 bit processing in Windows NT or OS/2. The new hot feature was that the L2 cache is built-in. This is like two chips in one. The new features were:

  • Built in optimized L2 cache with 256 KB or 512 KB. This is connected to the CPU itself with a 64 bit back side bus. Thus, the L2 cache runs synchronous with the CPU speed.

  • Multiple branch prediction, where the CPU anticipates the next instruction. Data Flow Analysis, which should reduce data dependence. Speculative Execution, where the CPU attempts to anticipate instruction results.

  • 5.5 million transistors in the CPU, 15 million for the 256 KB SRAM L2 cache. (6 transistors per bit).

  • 4 pipelines for simultaneous instruction execution.

  • RISC instructions with concurrent x86 CISC code to MicroOps RISC instructions decoding.

  • 2.9 Volt 4 layer BiCMOS processor technology.

  • Patented protocol. Thus, other CPU manufacturers cannot use the Pentium Pro Socket and chip set. This was not to the user's advantage.

    A giant chip

    Here you see a rectangular chip. The CPU and L2 cache are separate units inside this chip:

    It is mounted in a huge Socket 8:

    Pentium Pro was not for DOS...

    Pentium Pro was primarily optimized to 32 bit program execution. Often you heard about its poor performance executing 16 bit programs. I used a PPro 200 MHz (at 233 MHz) and experienced tremendous power in my Windows 95 environment. However the CPU was aimed at use in servers.

    PPro versus Pentium II

    After the introduction of Pentium II, the interest in the PPro has declined, and by the end of 1998 it was out of production. However it sold awhile after the introduction of the Pentium II.

    Compared to the first generations of this one, the PPro had advantages when used in certain servers:

    Pentium Pro
    1. generation
    Pentium II
    Max. RAM
    4 GB
    512 MB
    L2 cache speed
    200 MHz
    150 MHz
    Max. number CPU

    Intel also supplied a Pentium Pro-Overdrive Kit running at 333 MHz. However, with the Intel Xeon CPU the end came to the Pentium Pro.

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    Learn more

    Read about chip sets on the motherboard in module 2d

    Read more about RAM in module 2e

    Read module 5a about expansion cards, where we evaluate the I/O buses from the port side.

    Read module 5b about AGP and module 5c about Firewire.

    Read module 7a about monitors, and 7b on graphics card.

    Read module 7c about sound cards, and 7d on digital sound and music.

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    Copyright (c) 1996-2005 by Michael B. Karbo. www.karbosguide.com.