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This paper describes the circuit and physical design features of the z196 processor chip, implemented in a 45 nm SOI technology. The chip contains 4 super-scalar, out-of-order processor cores, running at 5.2 GHz, on a die with an area of 512 mm2 containing an estimated 1.4 billion transistors. The core and chip design methodology and specific design features are presented, focusing on techniques used to enable high-frequency operation. In addition, chip power, IR drop, and supply noise are discussed, being key design focus areas. The chip's ground-breaking RAS features are also described, engineered for maximum reliability and system stability.