On The Runway

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A closer look at Intel's Pentium 4 processor

Some jobs just need all the PC you can find. That's why Intel's next-generation Pentium 4 processor was created.

The successor to Intel's 5-year-old P6 architecture, the first Pentium 4 clocks in at 1.4GHz and has plenty of power for full-motion video, audio and 3-D applications from the Internet. Here's how it gets there:

A longer pipeline inside the main engine queues up three times as many instructions as the Pentium III.

The instructions are processed in optimum order, rather than in the sequence they were received.

A separate engine processes frequently used instructions-specifically, integer-based math-twice as fast as the main processing unit.

An improved Execution Trace Cache arranges predigested instructions in the best order.

A 400MHz system bus three times faster than the Pentium III's 133MHz bus can transport 64-byte-not just 32-byte-instructions from main memory.

Graphics and sound are processed faster using 144 new multimedia instructions.

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This article was originally published in the December 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: On The Runway.

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