Palomino to use special silicon, SSE instructions?

— 1:24 AM on December 1, 2000

If the Register is right about these two stories, they get Get Out of Jail Free pass from me for the next five times they mess up. The Reg blokes are reporting that AMD is investigating the use of isotopically pure silicon to make their processors run cooler. Such silicon could be used to reduce heat, making a big, bad next-gen Athlon (presumably the Palomino core) run cool at higher clock frequencies.

On top of that, it looks like Palomino may include support for Intel's SSE, or Streaming SIMD Extensions. (At least, I think that's what the Reg means by all that Screaming Sindy talk. Otherwise, I'm an American watching a cricket game—utterly and hopelessly lost.) We know AMD has plans to include SSE2 support with their 64-bit "Hammer" chips down the road, so using some form of SSE (prolly just the original, not SSE2) in the next rev of the Athlon would make perfect sense. Better support (and better compiler support) for SSE than for 3DNow has kept the PIII afloat for some time now against the Athlon. SSE support might help Palomino fend off the Pentium 4, while "Morgan," the next rev of the Duron and Palomino's lower-end twin, ought to crush the PIII once it gets SSE support.

Tasty stuff. I hope it's all true.

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