Pentium 1

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The Pentium is a single chip computer introduced by integrated circuit manufacturer intel in March of 1993.[1] The Pentium was a lineal descendant to intel's earlier successful designs, the 4004, 8008, 8080, 8086, 80286, 80386 and 80486. Because competitors brought out rival chips, pin-compatible with their own chips, and given the same names as their own chips, intel chose to give the Pentium a non-numeric identifying name -- one that could be trademarked.

The original Pentium incorporated 3,100,000 transistors.[1] The original Pentium required five volts, and would consume either 12 watts or 13 watts of power, depending on the clock speed. Original pentiums could be clocked to run at either 60 or 66 megahertz.

For more information, see: computer clockspeed.

Later chips, also considered Pentiums, were introduced which ran at faster clock speeds, and included more on-chip cache memory, and a few additional instructions.[2][3]

A Pentimum that ran at 90 or 100 megahertz was introduced on March 7, 1994.[2] This chip is not pin-compatible with the earlier model, because it required two power inputs. All subsequent Pentiums have required a second power input at a lower voltage. Part of the chip functions at a lower voltage to keep down the overal power consumption, and how much heat the chip generates. The last model in this series, introduced in 1996, consumed 15 watts when running at 200 megahertz. These Pentiums incorporated 3,200,000 transistors.

A third model of original Pentium was introduced on January 8, 1996.[3] This model is sometimes called the "Pentium MMX", because it implemented a small additional subset of instructions that were designed to make multimedia applications more quickly transfer large blocks of sound or video data. This model incorporated 4,500,000 transistors. The 233 megahertz version consumed up to 17 watts of power.

The last chip in this series, the last to be considered a Pentium, was introduced in 1999.[3] It ran at 300 megahertz.

More advanced chips in the Pentium series were no longer named "Pentium", they were named the Pentium 2, 3, or 4.

For more information, see: Pentium family of computer chips.


  1. 1.0 1.1 IA-32 implementation Intel P5, Retrieved on 2008-11-27.
  2. 2.0 2.1 IA-32 implementation Intel P54, Retrieved on 2008-11-27.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 IA-32 implementation Intel P55, Retrieved on 2008-11-27.