Intel demonstrated uses of its MMX generation of Pentium processors at the Consumer Electronics Show
(CES) held in Las Vegas last January. MMX is the name Intel gives a new design for its CPUs. Whereas all
Intel CPUs available through 1996, including the Pentiums, were capable only of processing one data
element at a time, MMX chips can process packages of data containing up to 64 bits of instruction and data
simultaneously. Fifty seven new instructions have been designed into the chips that enable this parallel
processing of data Intel calls Single Instruction Multiple Data technology (SIMD).
Both makers and viewers of video can benefit from this technology as codec (compression-
decompression) software developers begin to employ MMX capabilities in their codecs. According to Intel
representative Steve Mathias, video digitizer manufacturers could potentially shift more of the processing
burden to the MMX chip and drive down the cost of their products. That would be good news for those
interested in nonlinear editing. For video viewers: MPEG-1 players using MMX drop from 80% of CPU
usage to 40%. MPEG-2 players can achieve around 20-22 fps full-screen playback on computers without
additional hardware support. Those developing products for video streaming across the Internet could
employ MMX in their capabilities to achieve greater quality at greater compression.
You’ve just bought a Pentium computer? Intel’s answer is an “overdrive processor” MMX chip.
This chip can replace the standard Pentium chip sitting in your motherboard. The overdrive processor
adjusts for the core voltage difference between standard Pentiums (3.3 volts) and MMX chips (2.8 volts).
In other words, it enables an MMX upgrade without requiring a new motherboard, and without frying the
Headtrip, Inc. recently patented a self-contained, hands-free, helmet-cam video recording system. The
system consists of a camera and a separate unit containing the recorder, microphone and power supply. The
camera is mounted on the side of a rigid plastic helmet and points forward in the same direction as the
user’s sight, allowing the camera to track and view whatever the user sees. The recording unit, microphone
and power supply are housed in a protective case attached to a belt worn around the user’s waist.
Intel Corporation has patented a digital video camera (not a camcorder) that provides an asynchronous
computer-friendly digital output signal instead of a standard analog signal. Circuitry inside the camera
converts the analog signal from the camera’s imaging chip into a serialized string of digital data. In addition
to the actual video information, the digital camera’s output includes frame-identification and time-stamp