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MMX
A technology developed by the Intel Corporation which is the next step after the famed Pentium Proccessor. This new CPU chip will enable greater handling of multimedia such as video and audio on the desktop as well as over the Internet. Software developers will be able to use MMX to deliver a new generation of higher-performance multimedia and communications applications, and further advance the PC as the premier computing and entertainment platform. MMX technology will be integrated into the Intel chip architecture beginning with a Pentium processor codenamed P55C, which Intel expects to have in initial production in the fourth quarter of this year, and will be integrated into succeeding generations of Intel processors. In addition to traditional means of souping up its chips, including boosting clock frequencies and using microarchitecture techniques such as branch prediction, superscalar execution and superpipelining, Intel added 57   new instructions to its architecture to speed up certain compute-intensive loops in multimedia and communications applications. While the loops typically occupy 10 percent or less of the overall application code, they can account for up to 90 percent of the execution time. MMX instructions process multiple data elements in parallel using a technique called Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD). In simulations and preliminary tests on development systems, Intel said performance benefits have ranged from 50 to 400 percent, depending on the application. Example applications illustrated in Intel's MMX technology overview include chroma keying; vector dot product, used in signal processing of natural data such as images, audio, video and sound; matrix multiply, used in 3D games; 24-bit color; and image dissolve using alpha channel blending. Software tool providers and application developers that have announced their intention to support MMX include Microsoft, Macromedia, Adobe, Books That Work, Criterion Software, Epic MegaGames, Intel Indeo Video Interactive, Iterated Systems, Omniview, OnLive! Technologies, ParaGraph International, Pegasus Imaging, Powersoft, Qsound Labs, Vicarious and Virage. Hardware vendors working with Intel include Analog Devices, ATI, Cirrus Logic, Creative Labs, Crystal Semiconductor, ESS Technologies, S3 and Yamaha.
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