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Processor Power and Voltage
In the early days of computers, there wasn't very much concern about how much power a processor used. There weren't as many of them, and we weren't doing nearly as much with them. We were just thrilled they existed at all! As time has gone on our demands on these machines have continued to increase and new uses have put power consumption in the spotlight. This has led to a confusing set of voltage specifications where before (up to the Intel 486DX2-66) everything ran on 5 volt power.
The power usage and the voltage support of a processor are important for the following reasons:
Newer processors strive to add additional features and to run at faster speeds, which tends to increase power consumption. Processor designers compensate for this largely through technology, by using lower-power semiconductor processes, and shrinking the circuit size and die size.