The Pentium was introduced on March 22, 1993 and was the successor to the 486 line.
It is a fifth-generation x86 architecture microprocessor made by Intel. It is called Pentium because it is the fifth in the 80x86 line. The Pentium would have been called the 80586 or i586 had a US court not ruled that you can’t trademark a num¬ber. The i586 is used in programming referring to all the early Pentium processors. Intel’s design the of Pentium was focused mostly on the compatibility with its prior chip. This was at the expense of power,
performance, consumption, and cost of the Pentium.
Intel made two major changes from the 486. The superscalar design improved on the performance of its predecessor by having two datapaths (pipelines) that
allow it to complete more than one instruction per
clock cycle. One pipe (called “U”) can handle an
instruction, while the other (called ”V”) can handle
another instruction. The 64-bit path was the other
major change made to this chip. This doubles the amount of information pulled from
memory during each fetch. The front-end was designed to keep it compatibility with the x86 architecture. The early versions of the 60-100 MHz Pentiums had a problem in the
floating point unit that in some cases, resulted in greatly reduced precision of division
operations. This bug was found by Dr. Thomas R. Nicely, Professor of Mathematics at
Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia. His findings stated that the result of
calculating (1/x ) was incorrect for most x in the range (824633702418 <= x <= 824
633702449). The bug became know as the “Pentium FDIV bug” and caused some
embarrassment for Intel, which created an exchange program to replace the faulty
processors with correct ones. The 66 Mhz 0.8 um versions of the Pentium processors
were know for their fragility and high levels of heat production. The successor to the Pen-tium is the Pentium II.