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Intel's processor history: the path from the Intel 4004 to the Pentium 4

Intel's processor history: the path from the Intel 4004 to the Pentium 4

1995: Intel Pentium Pro

Intel Pentium Pro

1997: Intel introduces MMX

In January, Intel added new characters and presented the M ulti M edia-E X tensions even before the other manufacturers brought their first Pentium clones onto the market. The expansion added another 57 to the existing 200 commands of the Pentium. From now on, the word “multimedia” plays a decisive role in the marketing of the new processors from Intel. A large-scale marketing campaign was supposed to help the new technology make a breakthrough, but Intel had another problem: There was no software that supported MMX yet and therefore MMX technology, at least at this point in time, did not prove to be the panacea to stand out from the competition. In addition, the 10% performance gain of the new MMX CPUs will only be the new MMX technologybut the doubled L1 cache, which increased from 16 to 32 KB, played an equally important role here. The first processors with the new MMX technology were the Pentium MMX with 166 and 200 MHz. In June, Intel followed suit with the 233 MHz variant.

On the next page: 1997: Intel's new workhorse: The Pentium II

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