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The 0.18 Micron Technology and L2 memory on chip


The Pentium III Coppermine offers many benefits over its previous core (KATMAI). The Coppermine uses a 0.18-micron process compared to the KATMAI core, which was distributed on the 0.25 process. This technique will allow the CPU to be distributed in a smaller size. The 0.18 process allows the implementation of over 3 times more transistors, which is a big move forward. Compared to the KATMAI core (9.5 million transistors) the Coppermine core uses 28.1 million transistors. This is due to the direct L2 implementation on the chip, which uses a large amount of space on the core;
19 to 20 million transistors are estimated to be used for the L2 implantation. This offers many other benefits over the 0.25 process, one of the primary ones being lower voltage use.

FC-PGA
SLOT1

Type
Voltage
#
Type
Voltage
500E
1.60
1
-
-
533EB
1.65
2
533EB
1.65
550E
1.60
3
550E
1.65
600E
1.65
4
600E
1.65
600EB
1.65
5
600EB
1.65
650E
1.65
6
650E
1.65
667EB
1.65
7
667EB
1.65
700E
1.65
8
700E
1.65
733EB
1.65
9
733EB
1.65
750E
1.65
10
750E
1.65
800E
1.65
11
800E
1.65
800EB
1.65
12
800EB
1.65
850E
1.65
13
850E
1.65
866EB
1.65
14
866EB
1.65
933EB
1.65
15
933EB
1.70
1GHZ
N/A
16
1GHZ
1.70

A FC-PGA Coppermine chip uses 1.60-1.65 volts, the same specification applies for the cartridge version of the processor, except for the 933MHz and 1000MHz which use 1.7 volts for the cartridge version. And as we step up to the 0.18 process, overclocking is a very good possibility. As you may already heard, the Katmai core was already pushing its core limits when it reached 600MHz (B). For now the 0.18 process won't limit us in that scene anymore.

The direct L2 implementation is another big improvement. With the release of the Pentium III in February 1999, Intel decided to use their old strategy on the L2 memory, keeping it separated from the core. This was mostly because of a lower cost of production. The new Coppermine core includes 256k of L2 memory implanted on the chip, running full speed. The L2 cache takes use of the new Advanced Transfer Cache Architecture (ATC) with a 256-Bit wide bus compared to the 64-bit bus used on previous Pentium III (Katmai) processors. The Advanced Transfer Cache simply defines the newer and improved L2 memory. Even with the older Katmai core, which hosts 512k of L2 cache running half speed, the Coppermine runs faster with 256k of full speed using it's improved wider bus.






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