KarbosGuide.com. Module 3e.07b

Pentium III CuMine

The contents:

  • CuMine
  • Many models
  • But no copper
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  • Coppermine - CuMine..

    Here we shall look at the further development of Pentium III.

    600 MHz

    31, July 1999 the Pentium III was released in a 600 MHz version. This chip is working on a 100 MHz bus.

    27, September 1999, Intel launched two new chips, the 533 and the 600 MHz versions of Pentium III. These chips are both running on a 133 MHz system bus. Unfortunately the new chip set, i820, which was to be launched the same day, was pulled back in the last minute.

    The interesting point is that the 820 set with Pentium III Coppermine is supposed to be Intel's answer to the the very successful AMD Athlon.

    Some good news: Adobe has updated the graphics program Photoshop 5.5 with support for the SSE set of instructions. It should be very succesfull.


    25, October 1999 the next generation of Pentium III processors was released. The new thing here is the process technology and the integrated L2 cache.

    The headlines:

  • 0.18 process technology with 28 million transistors
  • 6 layer aluminium production
  • Reduced die size and 1,65 core voltage
  • Integrated L2 cache of 256 KB
  • New L2 to CPU bus of 256 bits width

    The electronic "wires" insides the chip has been reduced from a width of 0.25 micron to0.18, which is 1/500 of a human hairs width... The impact of 0.18 process technology is that the required voltage can be lowered from 2.2 Volt to 1.6 Volt. Hence, the Coppermine chip is developing less heat at the same clock frequency, and it can be produced for higher speeds. The launched topmodel was running at 733 MHz.

    Inside the CPU, the architecture has not changed a lot. The die size has decreased, and this way there has become room for an integrated 256 KB of L2 cache. This cache now works at full CPU speed and at a 256 wide bus. This gives a solid increase in performance.

    The 28 millions of transistors are loaded into 106 squaremillimeters, which is quite small; the old Pentium III without integrated L1 cache and only 9.3 million transistors took up 128 squaremillimeters.

    Many models

    The new chips produced with 0.18 micron process technology are labeled with an "E" to distinguish them from older models.

    But since the new process technology is also used for Pentium III's running at traditional 100 MHz, the models with 133 MHz are labeled with a "B". This way we will (for a while) have four flavours of 600 MHz Pentium IIIs:

    Model Process Clock frequency
    600 0.25 6 x 100 MHz
    600E 0.18 6 x 100 MHz
    600B 0.25 4.5 x 133 MHz
    600EB 0.18 4.5 x 133 MHz

    Obviously, Intel plans to skip the chips produced in 0.25 micron. But meanwhile both process technologies will be sold side by side.

    Late we shall have Celerons at 800 MHz and more based on the new CuMine kernel.

    But no copper

    It was expected this new generation of chips to produced using copper. The name "CuMine" also indicates this. But the first of these Cumines are produced with traditional aluminium wiring in 0.18 microns width. First in 2001 Intel plans to start using copper (in the P860 kernel), and this should lead to much higher levels of speed.

    AMD launched GigaHerz version of the Athlon using copper in 2000. Intel also launched GigaHertz versions of Pentium III, but they were only sold in few numbers in 2000.


    Intel launched a new series of chips for notebooks. The first models are 500 MHz versions of Pentium III running on a 100 MHz bus. Producing them in 0.18 techology, Intel has been able to work with the power consumption.

    The new chips can work in a "light" mode when the notebook is on batteries. The core voltage is reduced from 1.6 to 1.1 Volt, and the power usage goes down to just 50%! The CPU performance only decreases with 20%.

  • Much more about CPUs ...
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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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