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Multiprocessor validation of the Pentium Pro

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4 Author(s)

In the past, multiprocessor systems have taken a year longer than uniprocessor systems to introduce because of the need to develop and validate the additional functionality required for multiprocessor systems. Manufacturers, however, don't want to wait this long to release products using the latest multiprocessor systems. Our challenge in designing Intel's newest microprocessor, the Pentium Pro processor, was to eliminate the lag time. We wanted to accomplish this by introducing systems where the multiprocessor functionality was already an integral part of the main processor and the chipset. Specifically, we wanted to introduce the uniprocessor and the multiprocessor systems at the same time. We thus had to make sure even before first silicon that the multiprocessor system would work. In the past, multiprocessor system validation has generally taken place after first silicon, because the external logic has usually been developed after the processor functionality integrated into the processor and chipset. Intel developed an extensive test methodology for functional and performance validation

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 11 )