The dust settled over Intel's multimedia MMX technology last week as software vendors, including Microsoft, said they would back the specification.
Giving details of the architecture, which will add 57 instructions to Pentium and Pentium Pro chips, Fred Pollack, an Intel Fellow, said that the technology would provide a springboard for new multimedia apps.
Software vendors including Microsoft, Adobe, Macromedia, IBM, Numega and Powersoft said they would include MMX technology in a number of products. Last year Microsoft took issue with Intel after the latter attempted to impose its native signal processing (NSP) spec on the industry.
The instructions should give performance increases for Pentiums and Pentium Pros of between 50 per cent and 400 per cent, said Pollack.
Microsoft will use MMX in its interactive 3D graphics services Direct 3D Api and in its up-and-coming video technology, Active Movie.
Paul Maritz, group VP of platforms at Microsoft, said: 'We expect to find new ways to use this technology in Windows.' The company will include MMX support in the next release of its Visual C++ compiler.
A line-up of other hardware vendors also backed the spec, including Analog Devices, ATI, Cirrus Logic, Creative Labs, S3 and Yamaha.
While the P55C will also include the MMX extensions, Intel said that the product will not ship until year-end, a considerable slippage on its original date in the second quarter (PC Dealer, 6 March).
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