Dual Independent Bus Architecture (DIB)
The Dual Independent Bus Architecture (DIB) was introduced by Intel with the Pentium
Pro and the Pentium II processors in 1997 and with the Athlon MP a year later. Having a separate
main bus and L2 cache bus allows the processor to access both buses simultaneously thereby
increasing the processor's speed.
The main processor bus, called the front-side bus, is the interface between the processor
and the chip set, while the L2 cache bus, sometimes called the back-side bus, is the interface
to the L2 cache. The separate bus allows the L2 cache to run at the full speed of the processor
core while the front-side bus runs at the slower speed of the motherboard.
Implementation of DIB requires moving the L2 cache from the motherboard and into the
processor package. At the time of introduction the L2 cache was not integrated into the processor
die, but instead the L2 die was placed separately in the package.
Some claimed placing the L2 cache on its own separate bus increased system performance
more than double.
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