Coppermine - CuMine..
Here we shall look at the further development of Pentium III.
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.
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.
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:
|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.
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.
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%.
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.
Copyright (c) 1996-2005 by Michael B. Karbo. www.karbosguide.com.