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Encyclopedia > Pentium Pro
Pentium Pro
Central processing unit

Pentium Pro with 256 Kib L2-Cache
Produced: November 1, 1995
Manufacturer: Intel
CPU Speeds: 150 MHz to 200 MHz
FSB Speeds: 60 MHz to 66 MHz
Process:
(MOSFET channel length)
0.35 µm to 0.50 µm
Instruction Set: x86
Microarchitecture: P6
Socket: Socket 8

The Pentium Pro is a sixth-generation x86 architecture microprocessor (P6 core) produced by Intel and was originally intended to replace the original Pentium in a full range of applications, but later, was reduced to a more narrow role as a server and high-end desktop chip. The Pentium Pro was capable of both dual- and quad-processor configurations. It was introduced in a stunningly large, rectangular Socket 8 form factor in November 1995. Intel has since discontinued it in favor of the newer high-end Xeon processor lines. Die of an Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor (actual size: 12×6. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... November 1 is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 60 days remaining. ... Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... Die of an Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor (actual size: 12×6. ... A megahertz (MHz) is one million (106) hertz, a measure of frequency. ... A megahertz (MHz) is one million (106) hertz, a measure of frequency. ... In computers, the front side bus (FSB) or system bus is the physical bi-directional data bus that carries all electronic signal information between the central processing unit (CPU) and other devices within the system such as random access memory (RAM), video cards, PCI expansion cards, hard disks, the memory... A megahertz (MHz) is one million (106) hertz, a measure of frequency. ... A megahertz (MHz) is one million (106) hertz, a measure of frequency. ... The metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET) is by far the most common field-effect transistor in both digital and analog circuits. ... It has been suggested that some sections of this article be split into a new article entitled instruction set architecture. ... x86 or 80x86 is the generic name of a microprocessor architecture first developed and manufactured by Intel. ... Microarchitecture consists of a set of microprocessor design techniques used to implement the instruction set (including microcode, pipelining, cache systems, etc. ... The P6 microarchitecture is the sixth generation Intel x86 microprocessor architecture, released in 1995. ... Socket 8 CPU socket was used exclusively with the Intel Pentium Pro and Pentium II OverDrive computer processors. ... x86 or 80x86 is the generic name of a microprocessor architecture first developed and manufactured by Intel. ... A microprocessor is a programmable digital electronic component that incorporates the functions of a central processing unit (CPU) on a single semiconducting integrated circuit (IC). ... The P6 microarchitecture is the sixth generation Intel x86 microprocessor architecture, released in 1995. ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... The Pentium is a fifth-generation x86 architecture microprocessor from Intel. ... Socket 8 CPU socket was used exclusively with the Intel Pentium Pro and Pentium II OverDrive computer processors. ... Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ... The Xeon is Intels brand name for its server-class x86 microprocessors intended for multiple-processor machines. ...


The Pentium Pro (given the Intel product code 80521), was the first generation of the P6 architecture, which would carry Intel well into the next decade. The design would scale from its initial 150 MHz start, all the way up to 1.4 GHz with the "Tualatin" Pentium III. The core's various traits would continue after that in the derivative core called "Banias" in Pentium M and Intel Core (Yonah), which itself would evolve into Intel's Pentium M / Pentium 4 hybrid Core architecture (Core 2 processor) in 2006 and onward. Pentium III logo The Pentium III is an x86 (more precisely, an i686) architecture microprocessor by Intel, introduced on February 26, 1999. ... Introduced in March 2003, the Pentium M is an x86 architecture microprocessor designed and manufactured by Intel. ... It has been suggested that Intel Pentium Dual Core be merged into this article or section. ... The Pentium 4 brand refers - since 2000 - to Intels mainstream desktop and mobile single-core CPUs with the seventh-generation NetBurst architecture, which was the companys first all-new design since the Intel P6 of the Pentium Pro branded CPUs of 1995. ... The Intel Core microarchitecture (previously known as the Intel Next-Generation Micro-Architecture, or NGMA) is a multi-core processor microarchitecture unveiled by Intel in Q1 2006. ... Core 2 Duo brand logo This article is about Intel processors branded as Intel Core 2. ...

Contents

Performance

Pentium Pro 512 KiB
Pentium Pro 1 MiB
Uncapped Pentium Pro underside (256/512)
Pentium II Overdrive

Performance with 32-bit code was excellent and well ahead of the older Pentium at the time, by 25-35%; however, the Pentium Pro's 16-bit performance was approximately only 20% faster than a Pentium at running 16-bit code. It was this, along with the Pentium Pro's high price, due in part to the full speed L2 cache, that caused the rather lackluster reception for the chip among many home PC enthusiasts, given the dominance at the time of the 16-bit Windows 3.1x and MS-DOS. Windows 95 had already been released at the time of the introduction of the Pentium Pro, but some parts of Windows 95 itself (for example, USER) were still mostly 16-bit. To truly gain the full advantages of Pentium Pro's architecture, one was forced to run a fully 32-bit OS. Microsoft's only truly 32-bit OS at the time was Windows NT 3.51. Image File history File links Ppro512K.jpg Summary Intel Pentium Pro with 512KB L2 cache. ... Image File history File links Ppro512K.jpg Summary Intel Pentium Pro with 512KB L2 cache. ... Image File history File links Ppro1M.jpg Summary Intel Pentium Pro with 1MB L2 cache. ... Image File history File links Ppro1M.jpg Summary Intel Pentium Pro with 1MB L2 cache. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 733 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2413 × 1974 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 733 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2413 × 1974 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Pprooverdrive. ... Image File history File links Pprooverdrive. ... 32-bit is a term applied to processors, and computer architectures which manipulate the address and data in 32-bit chunks. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ... Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented graphical user interface-based operating system. ... // An operating system (OS) is a set of computer programs that manage the hardware and software resources of a computer. ... Windows NT is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993. ...


Despite the name, the Pentium Pro was actually a completely new architecture, very different from Intel's earlier Pentium processor. The Pentium Pro (P6) core featured an array of advanced RISC technologies, although it wasn't the first x86 CPU with such approach -- before it, the NexGen Nx586 processor already utilized internal x86 translation to its own proprietary RISC86TM instruction set. Perhaps the most obvious sign that things had changed was that the CPU's "front end" decoded the old IA32 instructions into micro-instructions which the Pro's RISC core then processed. The core of Pentium Pro featured several new technologies, including: speculative execution, superpipelining, an advanced L2 cache, register renaming, out of order execution, and a wider 36-bit address bus (usable by PAE). The P6 microarchitecture is the sixth generation Intel x86 microprocessor architecture, released in 1995. ... Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC), is a microprocessor CPU design philosophy that favors a smaller and simpler set of instructions that all take about the same amount of time to execute. ... x86 or 80x86 is the generic name of a microprocessor architecture first developed and manufactured by Intel. ... A NexGen Nx586 processor NexGen was a private semiconductor company that designed x86 PC central processing units until it was purchased by AMD in 1996. ... ... In computer science, speculative execution is the execution of code whose result may not actually be needed. ... Basic five-stage pipeline in a RISC machine (IF = Instruction Fetch, ID = Instruction Decode, EX = Execute, MEM = Memory access, WB = Register write back) An instruction pipeline is a technique used in the design of computers and other digital electronic devices to increase their performance. ... Diagram of a CPU memory cache A CPU cache is a cache used by the central processing unit of a computer to reduce the average time to access memory. ... In computer engineering, register renaming refers to a technique used to avoid unnecessary serialization of program operations imposed by the reuse of registers by those operations. ... In computer science, out-of-order execution is a paradigm used in most high-speed microprocessors in order to make use of cycles that would otherwise be wasted by a certain type of costly delay. ... An address bus is (part of) a computer bus, used by CPUs or DMA-capable units for communicating the physical addresses of computer memory elements/locations that the requesting unit wants to access (read/write). ... In computing, Physical Address Extension (PAE) refers to a feature of x86 processors that allows for up to 64 gigabytes of physical memory to be used in 32-bit systems, given appropriate operating system support. ...


After the microprocessor was released a bug was discovered in the floating point unit, commonly called the "Pentium Pro and Pentium II FPU bug" and by Intel as the "flag erratum". The bug occurs under some circumstances during floating-point to integer conversion when the floating-point number won't fit into the smaller integer format causing the FPU to deviate from its documented behaviour. The bug is considered to be minor and occurs under such special circumstances that very few, if any, software programs are affected. A floating point unit (FPU) is a part of a computer system specially designed to carry out operations on floating point numbers. ...


An innovation in cache

Likely Pentium Pro's most noticeable addition was its on-package L2 cache. At the time, manufacturing technology did not feasibly allow L2 cache to be integrated into the processor core. Intel instead placed the L2 die separately in the package which still allowed it to run at the same clock speed as the CPU core. Additionally, unlike motherboard-based cache which shared the main system bus with the CPU, the Pentium Pro's cache had its own backside bus (called dual independent bus by Intel). Because of this, the CPU could read main memory and cache concurrently, greatly reducing a traditional bottleneck. The cache was also "non-blocking", meaning that the processor could issue more than one cache request at a time (up to 4), reducing cache-miss penalties. (This is an example of MLP, Memory Level Parallelism.) These properties combined to produce a L2 cache that was immensely faster than the motherboard-based caches of older processors. This cache alone gave the CPU an advantage in input/output performance over older x86 CPUs. In multiprocessor configurations, Pentium Pro's integrated cache skyrocketed performance in comparison to architectures which had each CPU sharing a central cache. Diagram of a CPU memory cache A CPU cache is a cache used by the central processing unit of a computer to reduce the average time to access memory. ... The term backside bus was used most commonly when referring to Intels Pentium Pro. ... Memory Level Parallelism or MLP is a term in computer architecture referring to the ability to have pending multiple memory operations, in particular cache misses, at the same time. ... x86 or 80x86 is the generic name of a microprocessor architecture first developed and manufactured by Intel. ...


However, this far faster L2 cache did come with some complications. All versions of the chip were expensive, those with more than 256 KiB being particularly so. The Pro's "on-package cache" arrangement was unique. The processor and the cache were on separate dies in the same package and connected closely by a full-speed bus. The two dies — both of which were very large by the standards of the day — had to be bonded together early in the production process, before testing was possible. This meant that a single, tiny flaw in either die made it necessary to discard the entire assembly, which was one of the reasons for the Pentium Pro's relatively low production yield and high cost.


Available models

Pentium Pro clock speeds were 150, 166, 180 or 200 MHz with a 60 or 66 MHz external bus clock. Some users chose to overclock their Pentium Pro chips, with the 200 MHz version often being run at 233 MHz, and the 150 MHz version often being run at 166 MHz. The chip was popular in symmetric multiprocessing configurations, with dual and quad SMP server and workstation setups being commonplace. MegaHertz (MHz) is the name given to one million (106) Hertz, a measure of frequency. ... In computers, the front side bus (FSB) or system bus is the physical bi-directional data bus that carries all electronic signal information between the central processing unit (CPU) and other devices within the system such as random access memory (RAM), video cards, PCI expansion cards, hard disks, the memory... Symmetric Multiprocessing, or SMP, is a multiprocessor computer architecture where two or more identical processors are connected to a single shared main memory. ...


The Pentium Pro was succeeded by the Pentium II, which was essentially a cost-reduced and re-branded Pentium Pro with the addition of MMX and enhanced 16-bit code performance. Costs were reduced by using standard SRAM cache chips running at half-speed, which increased production yields. Pentium II – front view The Pentium II is an x86 architecture microprocessor by Intel, introduced on May 7, 1997. ... MMX is a SIMD instruction set designed by Intel, introduced in 1997 in their Pentium MMX microprocessors. ... Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) is a type of semiconductor memory. ...


Eventually a 333 MHz Pentium II Overdrive processor for Socket 8 was produced by Intel as an upgrade option for owners of Pentium Pro systems, which had 512 KiB of high speed cache. However it only supported dual-processor operation, which did not make it a usable upgrade for high end quad-processor systems.


Pentium Pro / 6th generation competitors

K5 core diagram AMD 5K86-P90 (SSA/5) AMD K5 PR166 The K5 was AMDs first in-house processor, developed to compete with Intels Pentium microprocessor range. ... History 1997 saw the arrival of AMDs K6 microprocessor. ... The Cyrix 6x86 is a sixth-generation, 32-bit 80x86-compatible microprocessor designed by Cyrix and manufactured by IBM and SGS-Thomson. ... The Cyrix 6x86 is a sixth-generation, 32-bit 80x86-compatible microprocessor designed by Cyrix and manufactured by IBM and SGS-Thomson. ... The WinChip series was a a low-power Socket 7-based x86 processor designed by Centaur Technology and marketed by its parent company IDT. // The design of the WinChip was quite different from other processors of the time. ... The Pentium is a fifth-generation x86 architecture microprocessor from Intel. ...

External links

  • Backside Bus at Whatis.com
  • Intel Pentium Pro technical specifications
  • Intel Pentium Pro images and descriptions at cpu-collection.de
  • CPU-INFO: Intel Pentium Pro, indepth processor history

  Results from FactBites:
 
Pentium Pro - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (861 words)
It was this, along with the Pentium Pro's high price, due in part to the full speed on-die L2 cache, that caused the rather lackluster reception for the chip among many home PC enthusiasts, given the dominance at the time of the 16-bit Windows 3.1x and MS-DOS.
Pentium Pro clock speeds were 150, 166, 180 or 200 MHz with a 60 or 66 MHz external bus clock.
The Pentium Pro was succeeded by the Pentium II, which was essentially a cost-reduced and re-branded Pentium Pro with the addition of MMX and enhanced 16-bit code performance.
Pentium II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (768 words)
The Pentium II is an x86 architecture microprocessor by Intel, introduced on May 7, 1997.
The original Klamath Pentium II ran at 233 and 266 MHz, were produced in a 0.35 µm fabrication process and produced (for that time) an incredible amount of heat.
Unlike previous Intel processors such as the Pentium and Pentium Pro, the Pentium II was packaged in a slot-based form-factor rather than a socket.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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