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September 20, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

The Pentium is Intel Corp’s processor for the desktop for the forseeable future because the P6 is a server and high-end workstation part, Intel president and chief executive Andrew Grove told PC Week. There is a road map of Pentium. Higher speed, multimedia, mobile, and OverDrives, he said. You will see a whole line of mobile CPUs. As for P6, it is optimised for 32-bit software. It does not do anything very spectacular for Windows95. Nor does it need to, either. Win 95 and Pentium go very well together. The 32-bit software, as exemplified by NT, Unix, and Solaris, will shine on P6, he said, but declared that P6 was for workstations as well as servers, and suggested that it would finally settle the debate over whether iAPX-86 architecture can outperform RISCs. Intel started developing the P6 in 1990, and couldn’t believe the personal computer software market would be so dilatory as to be still stuck on 16-bit code in 1996. As for Windows95, it has 32-bit software, but it’s not predominantly 32-bit software. As years go, we’ll move members of the P6 into the mainstream also. But that’s in the future. Grove agreed that for client applications, there is nothing beyond Pentium except more differentiated Pentiums, but said that P6 will change and add some of the attributes that make Pentium so good for multimedia. We will reduce its cost and ramp [P6] up into the tens of millions in volume. [Today’s] positioning is not a forever positioning. It’s a position for the next 18 months. Nothing in this business is forever. On the multimedia Pentium code-named MMX, for multimedia extensions, due late next year, Grove said that it was a way to improve performance for the basic Pentium, but that it was not as simple as putting a signal processor on a chip, although he did describe it as an accelerator for Native Signal Processing.

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