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Inside the Machine by Jon Stokes

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Chapter 5. The Intel Pentium and Pentium Pro

Now that you’ve got the basics of microprocessor architecture down, let’s look at some real hardware to see how manufacturers implement the two main concepts covered in the previous two chapters—pipelining and superscalar execution—and introduce an entirely new concept: the instruction window. First, we’ll wrap up our discussion of the fundamentals of microprocessors by taking a look at the Pentium. Then we’ll explore in detail the P6 microarchitecture that forms the heart of the Pentium Pro, Pentium II, and Pentium III. The P6 microarchitecture represents a fundamental departure from the microprocessor designs we’ve studied so far, and an understanding of how it works will give you a solid grasp of ...

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