AP-523 Pentium(R) Pro Processor Power Distribution Guidelines

As computer performance demands increase, new, higher speed logic with increased density is developed to fulfill these needs. To reduce their overall power dissipation, modern microprocessors are being designed with lower voltage implementations. This in turn requires power supplies to provide lower voltages with higher current capability. Because of this, processor power is now becoming a significant portion of the system design, and demands special attention. Power distribution requires careful design practices now more than ever. The Pentium (R) Pro processor has unique requirements for the voltages supplied to it, as well as a new bus implementation, called GTL+, which requires a voltage supply of its own. The reader should be familiar with basic electrical engineering theory, as the first sections of this document will explain in detail the issues involved in designing a system with proper power distribution. The last sections will offer specific solutions for a system containing any number of Pentium Pro processors. This includes a specification for a DC-to-DC converter module.

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