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A dual-core 64-bit ultraSPARC microprocessor for dense server applications

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13 Author(s)
Takayanagi, Toshinari ; Sun Microsystems Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA ; Shin, J.L. ; Petrick, B. ; Su, J.Y.
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A dual-core 64-bit microprocessor optimized for compute-dense systems such as rack-mount and blade servers for network computing was developed. The chip consists of two UltraSPARC II cores, each with its own 512 kB L2 cache, a DDR-1 memory controller, and symmetric multiprocessor bus (JBus) controllers. The 206-mm2 die is fabricated in 0.13-μm CMOS technology with seven layers of Cu and a low-k dielectric. The chip offers a highly efficient performance-per-watt ratio with a typical power dissipation of 23 W at 1.3 V and 1.2 GHz. A short design cycle was achieved by leveraging existing designs wherever possible and developing effective design methodologies and flows. Significant design challenges faced by this project are described. These include deep-submicron design issues, such as negative bias temperature instability (NBTI), leakage, coupling noise, intra-die process variation, and electromigration (EM). A second important design challenge was implementing a high-performance L2 cache subsystem with a short four-cycle core-to-L2 latency including ECC.

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Solid-State Circuits, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 1 )