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high-performance features.
 
high-performance features.
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=Pentium Q&A=
 +
<pre>
 +
General
 +
 +
Q1.  Which markets will be the first to employ Pentium
 +
    processor-based systems?
 +
 +
A1.  We expect that initial customers for Pentium processor-
 +
    based systems will be traditional early adopters who
 +
    require increased performance to meet their needs.  The
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    Pentium processor will power advanced personal
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    computers, workstations and super servers.
 +
 +
Q2.  I just bought an Intel486TM CPU-based system; is the
 +
    Pentium processor going to obsolete it?
 +
 +
A2.  No.  The Intel486TM CPU remains the mainstream processor.
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    The Pentium processor will have limited availability in
 +
    '93 and will be targeted at high-end applications, such
 +
    as servers.  As we have seen with the Intel486 CPU,
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    the Pentium processor will evolve downward in the
 +
    market and one day become the volume mainstream
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    processor .
 +
 +
Speed/Performance
 +
 +
Q3.  What is the performance of the Pentium processor in
 +
    comparison to an Intel486 CPU?
 +
 +
A3.  The Pentium processor runs applications up to five
 +
    times as fast as the popular, desktop-standard 33-MHz
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    Intel486 DX CPU.  The 66-MHz Pentium processor operates
 +
    at 112 million instuctions per second Dhrystone (MIPS),
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    it has a SPECint92 rating of 64.5 and SPECfp92 rating
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    of 56.9 and an Intel iCOMPTM Index rating of 567.  The
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    performance delta between the 66- and 60-MHz version of
 +
    the Pentium processor is about 10 percent.
 +
 +
Q4.  What is the performance of the Pentium processor in
 +
    comparison to RISC machines?
 +
 +
A4.  The Pentium processor has equal or greater integer
 +
    performance (SPECint92) than all current volume
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    shipping RISC-based systems.  In addition, the Pentium
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    processor has demonstrated workstation-class floating-
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    point performance.
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    The RISC processors available today are designed to be
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    a very high-end processors.  In the mainstream volume
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    workstation and PC marketplace, it is important to be
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    able to ship millions of processors, not just
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    thousands.
 +
 +
Q5.  What is the iCOMPTM Index?
 +
 +
A5.  The iCOMPTM Index was created by Intel as an easy-to-use
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    index to give PC buyers useful processor performance
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    information when selecting an Intel-based PC.  This
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    tool reflects the performance of the microprocessor and
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    should not be used as a measurement of overall system
 +
    performance.
 +
    For example, the Intel486 SX CPU at 25-MHz has an iCOMP
 +
    rating of 100, the Intel486 DX2 CPU at 66-MHz has an
 +
    iCOMP rating of 297 and the Pentium processor at 66-MHz
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    has an iCOMP rating of 567.
 +
 +
Naming
 +
 +
Q6.  Why did you name it the Pentium processor?
 +
 +
A6.  The purpose of naming it the Pentium processor is to
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    help users recognize the genuine Intel processor.
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    Imitators sell products using the "386" and "486"
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    designation when the products are not on par with
 +
    Intel's.  We want to ensure that the PC user knows
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    which processor is the genuine Intel chip.  The Pentium
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    name will designate that:  no one else can legally use
 +
    that name.
 +
 +
Upgradability
 +
 +
Q7.  I have heard people refer to Pentium Ready or OverDriveTM
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    Pentium systems.  What are they and when will they be
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    available?
 +
 +
A7.  Many Intel486 DX2 CPU-based systems will be upgradable
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    to Pentium processor technology.  Whether systems are
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    upgradable is based on system design considerations.
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    The Pentium processor-based OverDriveTM Processor will be
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    introduced in 1994.
 +
 +
Software
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 +
Q8.  What applications are best suited for Pentium processor-
 +
    based machines?
 +
 +
A8.  The Pentium processor will enable high-performance
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    servers at a lower cost than currently available. The
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    Pentium processor is capable of running all major
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    network operating systems with scalability from the
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    desktop to the data center.
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 +
    Performance-intensive desktop and technical
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    applications, such as imaging, real-time video and
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    voice recognition will benefit from the increased
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    performance available from the Pentium processor.  In
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    addition, it will expand the acceptance of Intel
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    processor-based systems into applications such as
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    scientific modeling, computer-aided design/engineering
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    (CAD/CAE), large-scale financial analysis and high-
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    throughput client/server applications.
 +
 +
Q9.  Will software written for 286/386/486 CPU-based systems
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    run on the Pentium processor? What will be the
 +
    difference?
 +
 +
A9.  Yes, Intel has always been committed to compatibility
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    across processor generations and that will continue.
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    To achieve the highest possible software application
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    performance from Pentium processor and Intel486 CPU-
 +
    based systems, software can be optimized.
 +
 +
Q10. What is software optimization?
 +
 +
A10. Optimization is the process by which operating systems
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    and application software are developed or recompiled to
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    take full advantage of the Intel architecture.  Results
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    are most dramatic on the Intel486 and Pentium processor-
 +
    based systems.
 +
 +
Q11. How much faster can the Pentium processor run today's
 +
    software than the Intel486 DX2 CPU?
 +
 +
A11. About 40-70% faster than the 66-MHz Intel486 DX2 CPU
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    running existing software.
 +
 +
Q12. Which software developers have committed to optimizing
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    their applications for the Intel architecture?
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 +
A12. Currently, Andersen Consulting*, Adobe*, Aldus*,
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    Autodesk*, Cadre*, Calera*, ComputerVision*, Dragon*,
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    EDS*, Frame Technology*, Gain Technology*, Gupta*,
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    Hypercube*, IBM*, Ithaca*, Interleaf*, Knowledgeware*,
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    Kurzweil*, Lotus*, Microsoft*, Novell*, NCR*, Oracle*,
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    Pixar*, Reuters*, SAS*, SCO*, Set Technology*, Sigma
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    Design*, SunSoft*, Sybase*, Univel*, Viewlogic*,
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    Ventura* Software, and Wolfram* have all committed that
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    one or more of their applications will be optimized for
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    the Intel architecture. More software companies are
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    committing every week.
 +
 +
Q13. Which operating system suppliers are committed to
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    supporting Pentium processor? When?
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 +
A13. IBM*, Microsoft*, NeXT*, Novell*, SCO*, SunSoft*,
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    Univel* and USL*. You will need to check with them on
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    announcement plans or ship schedules.
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 +
Q14. Which compiler and tools companies are supplying
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    optimized tools and compilers?
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 +
A14. Absoft*, Borland*, IBM*, Liant*, MetaWare*, Micro
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    Focus*, Microsoft*, NeXT*, SCO*, USL*, and WATCOM*.
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 +
Q15. If Pentium processor performance is so great, why would
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    I want or need to optimize my software?
 +
 +
A15. While the Pentium processor is significantly more
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    powerful than its predecessors, performance can be
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    enhanced when software is optimized for the Intel
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    architecture. Intel has been working with its software
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    partners for over a year to ensure that full advantage
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    of the Pentium processor and Intel486 microprocessor
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    performance can be taken by tools, compilers, operating
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    systems and application software.
 +
 +
Q16. How much incremental performance can I expect from an
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    optimized application running on a Pentium processor-
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    based system?
 +
 +
A16. Performance enhancements will vary, but early
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    optimization projects have yielded up to 30%
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    performance enhancement over the enhancement provided
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    by the chip alone.
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 +
Technical Details
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 +
Q17. How does the Pentium processor differ from the Intel486
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    CPU?  What are new features of the Pentium processor?
 +
 +
A17. The Pentium processor  includes both new architectural
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    features as well as enhancements to the Intel486 CPU.
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    New architectural features are superscalar
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    architecture, a totally redesigned Floating Point Unit
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    (FPU), branch prediction, separate code and data
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    caches, a write back cache with MESI  (Mutual Exclusive
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    Shared Invalid) protocol, multiprocessor support and
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    built-in data integrity for increased reliability.
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    Other enhancements to the architecture include
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    hardwired instructions, enhanced microcode, increased
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    page size, 64-bit data bus and pipelining.
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 +
Q18. What is superscalar?
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 +
A18. Superscalar is new to the Pentium processor  and is a
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    microarchitecture design technique that allows multiple
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    instructions to be executed simultaneously on chip.
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    (An anology: superscalar is like adding another lane to
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    a single lane highway; more cars (instructions) can go
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    to the same place at the same time).
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 +
Q19. What is branch prediction?
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 +
A19. Branch prediction is new to the Pentium processor and
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    is another performance improvement technique.  Since
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    software execution incurs substantial delays on
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    branches, points in the software instruction stream
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    require a branch to a new, non-contiguous location in
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    system memory to fetch the next instruction.  This
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    Intel-developed technology will predict where the
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    program is going next and can actually begin working on
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    the next instruction before it is actually called upon.
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 +
Q20. Why do you have separate data and instruction (code)
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    caches?
 +
 +
A20. Having the two separate caches allows the CPU to fetch
 +
    data and code in parallel, doubling the available cache
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    bandwidth. In addition, the Pentium processor has  very
 +
    large on-chip data paths, some as large as 256 bits.
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    The data cache is dual access, meaning two instructions
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    can read and write data in parallel.  This complements
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    the superscalar design (dual pipeline).
 +
</pre>
    
=See Also=
 
=See Also=

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