Intel Announces Production Shipment of Fifth-Generation, Compatible, Pentium™ Processor

Santa Clara, Calif., March 22, 1993 -- Intel Corporation today announced that it has begun shipping the production version of the Pentium™ processor. Up to five times as powerful as the 33-MHz Intel486TM DX CPU, the fifth-generation Intel-compatible Pentium processor extends the Intel processor performance continuum while maintaining full compatibility with existing software.

The Pentium processor employs the most advanced technology and engineering innovation and is the enabling technology for today's high-end and tomorrow's emerging applications. Advanced operating systems with new graphical user interfaces (GUIs), such as Windows*, OS/2*, Windows NT*, NeXTSTEP* 486, UNIX* and Solaris* will benefit from the increased processing power. The new processor will also benefit areas such as scientific modeling, computer-aided design and engineering (CAD/CAE), large-scale financial analysis and high-throughput client/server applications. The Pentium processor also will provide the increased performance necessary for a host of new applications such as voice recognition, imaging and real-time video.

Next Generation of Power

"The Pentium processor represents a new generation of power for the Intel architecture. We are beginning shipment of the first member of the family and more will be forthcoming. The Pentium processor will enable the best price/performance systems in the marketplace over any other architecture," said Albert Yu, senior vice president and a general manager of the Microprocessor Products Group.

The Pentium processor is offered in 66- and 60-MHz versions. The 66-MHz Pentium processor operates at 112 V1.1 Dhrystone MIPS and has a SPECint92 rating of 64.5, a SPECfp92 rating of 56.9 and an iCOMPTM index rating of 567. The performance difference between the 66- and 60 MHz versions is about ten percent.

"We expect that initial customers for Pentium processor-based systems will be those traditional early adopters who require increased performance to meet their needs. Additionally, these systems will surface in high-performance servers for corporate downsizing applications," said Paul Otellini, senior vice president and a general manager of Intel's Microprocessor Products Group. "As volume ramps over the next year, Pentium processor based systems will gravitate toward more traditional desktop applications. Meanwhile, the Intel486 CPU-based systems continue to be the choice for today's mainstream application requirements."

New Technologies

Manufactured using a 0.8 micron BiCMOS process and designed using a superscalar RISC architecture, the Pentium processor has two five-stage execution units and can process up to two instructions in a single clock cycle. Both the Intel486 CPU and Intel386TM CPU have one execution unit. The Intel386 CPU is a traditional CISC design that utilizes several clocks per instruction. The Intel486 CPU, designed with a RISC integer core, executes most instructions in a single clock cycle.

The Pentium processor features two 8K on-chip caches, dramatically improved floating point performance and a 64-bit burst-mode external bus. It has 3.1 million transistors, nearly three times as many as the Intel486 CPU.

The powerful, fully compatible floating point unit (FPU) incorporates optimized algorithms and dedicated multiply, divide and add hardware with an eight-stage pipeline to execute one floating point operation per clock cycle. The FPU is capable of running many applications five to ten times faster than the same applications running on a 33-MHz Intel486 DX CPU.

Other advanced design techniques, like branch prediction, large 256-bit internal data buses and write-back caches, all serve to improve application software performance. The Pentium processor offers this new level of performance while maintaining full compatibility with previous generations of the Intel architecture. Intel and the Industry

Throughout the development of the Pentium processor, Intel has been working with hardware and software companies to help them deliver a complete suite of system building blocks, including chip sets, BIOS, cache and clock drivers. Intel has also been working with compiler, tools, operating system and applications developers to ensure software solutions that take full advantage of the Pentium processor architecture and enhance software performance on Intel486 CPUs as well.

Not only will current software run on Pentium processors without modification and with substantial performance improvement, but new high- performance tools and compilers are available that will allow commercial and in-house developers to achieve even greater performance enhancements through a recompilation process, also known as optimization. Many major software developers have committed to optimizing their current applications for the Intel architecture, while others are porting their high-end applications to the Intel architecture for the first time.

Supporting Peripherals

Intel is providing system building blocks to enable a variety of Pentium processor-based systems designed for high-performance desktop and server applications. Those building blocks include the 82496 Advanced Cache Controller and 82491 cache, the 82489 DX interrupt controller, and the 82430 PCIset chip set.

The Pentium processor and second-level cache chip set, the 82496 cache controller and multiple 82491 custom SRAMs, are a tightly combined group of components optimized for high-performance desktop systems and two- to eight-processor high-performance servers. The 82489 DX, the first implementation of the advanced programmable interrupt controller (APIC) architecture, provides multiprocessor system support. The Intel 82430 PCIset provides PCI local bus performance to Pentium processor-based desktop systems. It includes an integrated cache/DRAM controller, a local bus accelerator and system logic with an EISA or ISA expansion bus bridge to enable a range of price/performance systems.


Many Intel486 DX2 CPU-based systems will be upgradable with Pentium processor technology through a new product in the Intel OverDrive Processor family. This OverDrive Processor, based on Pentium processor technology, will be available in 1994. Pentium processor-based systems, expected to start shipping in the second and third quarter of this year, will be easy to upgrade with future Intel processor technology.


Initial production versions are shipping now. Intel has begun the production ramp and will ship approximately 10,000 units in the second quarter of 1993.

For additional information, contact a local Intel sales office, or the Literature Center at 800-548-4725 (in the U.S. and Canada), or write for: Intel Literature Packet #JP-53, P.O. Box 7620, Mt. Prospect, IL 60056-7641.

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is an international manufacturer of microcomputer components, modules and systems.

Pentium, Intel486, Intel386, OverDrive and iCOMP are trademarks of Intel Corporation. Windows and Windows NT are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. OS/2 is a trademark of IBM Corporation. UNIX is a trademark of UNIX Systems Laboratories. NeXTSTEP 486 is a trademark of NeXT Computer, Incorporated. Solaris is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.