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A year ago: Katmai lands amongst pigeons

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Intel has released details about its up-and-coming Katmai processor, so confirming facts written here in The Register some months ago. In a SURPRISE email from Intel, journalists were told that Katmai will include 70 new instructions including single instruction multiple data architecture for floating point data. What is this? The Register remains of the firm opinion that this is Intel's response to two basic problems with its MMX technology. See the AMD site, for instance. The first is that when it introduced Pentium Ceramic this time last year, it did little to address the basic problem games suppliers have - bottlenecks occur at a physical level rather than because of instruction sets. The second is an attempt to beat off opposition from the unholy cabal formed by AMD, NatSemi-Cyrix and Centaur/IDT. As reported here before, the three companies have decided to take a unified approach to socket seven and to MMX, thus forming a clear alternative to the infamous Slot technology. Now, again as reported here, these three companies have all declared that they are not only working on the problem at the physical layer but will be devoting vast acres of their future offerings to FP stuff. As games emerge this year, some written specifically for AMD's Super Socket Seven stuff, it is becoming increasingly clear to Intel that the alternative does, indeed have at least a one year window of opportunity over Great Stan's stuff. In the obligatory game of obfuscation, Intel remains king while the others are still merely the sorceror's apprentices. The email from Intel reveals the post hoc propter hoc fact that it has been working with the software community since early 1996. That just goes to show something or other but what is clear is that relationships between Microsoft and Intel are at an all time low. ®

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