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SMM (Power Management)

Spurred on primarily by the goal of putting faster and more powerful processors in laptop computers, Intel has created power-management circuitry. This circuitry enables processors to conserve energy use and lengthen battery life. This was introduced initially in the Intel 486SL processor, which is an enhanced version of the 486DX processor. Subsequently, the power-management features were universalized and incorporated into all Pentium and later processors. This feature set is called SMM, which stands for System Management Mode.

SMM circuitry is integrated into the physical chip but operates independently to control the processor's power use based on its activity level. It allows the user to specify time intervals after which the CPU will be partially or fully powered down. It also supports the Suspend/Resume feature that allows for instant power on and power off, used mostly with laptop PCs. These settings are normally controlled via system BIOS settings.

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