Pentium 4 Goes Hyper-Threading
The new Intel Pentium 4 introduced today is Intel's fastest desktop processor clocked at an amazingly high speed at 3.06GHz. Giving you yet another leap over the GigaHertz mark, there's more to this processor than just the typical boost in frequency speed. Intel will also introduce the Hyper-Threading technology which has already made its successful debut in the workstation and server space with their Xeon processors.
In Hyper-Threading, Intel intends to continue boosting the performance of the Pentium 4 processor by another 5% to 25% on average. What Hyper-Threading does is to boost the performance of multi-tasking applications through simultaneous processing of threads. In normal applications, threads are executed one at a time no matter how much of resources each of these threads take. However, with Intel's Hyper-Threading in action, threads are executed in parallel which results in a more efficient utilization of the processor's execution resources.
The new Intel Pentium 4 processor at 3.06GHz with Hyper-Threading technology.
The beauty of Hyper-Threading is that it's already compatible with most applications available today. In fact, it takes advantage of the multi-tasking environment that the latest operating systems like Windows 2000 and Windows XP offer. Users are expected to immediately experience an increase in performance regardless of the applications used.
In order to put Hyper-Threading on the Pentium 4 processor, Intel added a couple of new instructions that enables Thread-Level Parallelism in the execution stage of the processor. All these addition took up no more than 5% of the die space and according to Intel, it's the most cost effective way of increasing the performance of the processor by another 25%. In contrast, increasing the Level 2 cache to 512KB took up to 30% increase in die space and it only helped increase performance by another 10%. This simply means that you get a lot more performance with Hyper-Threading technology and yet you need not pay an extremely high cost for it.