x86 clone manufacturers cram in extra instructions

x86 clone manufacturers cram in extra instructions
Richard Ball Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) will announce its latest K6 microprocessor on Friday. The K6-3D, or K6-2, includes 21 extra instructions aimed at speeding up floating point and therefore 3D graphics. National Semiconductor and IDT are to use the same instructions in their Cyrix 6×86 and Centaur WinChip processors respectively. All three companies will jointly market their processors using the brand name 3DNow! for the extra instructions. Intel’s Katmai processor, with extra instructions for floating point and 3D, is not due out until early next year. Meanwhile, IDT’s WinChip2 with the 3D instructions has started sampling at 266MHz. This year, IDT will release several variants of its WinChip processors, including devices with large level one cache and integrated PCI bridge. The top end WinChip3 will use pipelining to increase clock speeds to between 400 and 600MHz.


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