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  • About five years ago, Intel came out with a 166MHz microprocessor called the Pentium Pro. It was the first member of the Intel P6 micro-architecture family and while it was a middleweight performer on 16-bit code, the standard of the day, it flew when running 32-bit code, the standard of today. Now, five years and about 1GHz later, Intel's entire x86 CPU product line is still based on a similar P6 core, including the recent Pentium III 1.13GHz.

    But Intel has a new micro-architecture coming. As reported in the mainstream press, Intel has announced the brand name for the Pentium 4, the first processor in the new Intel NetBurst Micro-Architecture family. With several new performance enhancing features, the Intel NetBurst Micro-Architecture will form the foundation for the next several years of Intel x86 processors.

    The Pentium 4 processor has several new features from its Intel NetBurst Micro-Architecture that boost performance over the older P6 micro-architecture: a 20 stage pipeline, improved dynamic execution, double clocked ALUs, level 1 trace cache, a quad-pumped 100MHz system bus, and SSE2.

    A photo of a Pentium 4, taken months ago in Taiwan

    Read on to see the specifics of Intel's next generation...

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