Raising the bar even further, Intel Corporation will formally introduce its next-generation "Katmai" processor--now officially known as the Pentium III--next Monday. The Pentium III, which will ship in quantity beginning in March, will debut at speeds of 450 and 500 MHz, while offering a new set of MMX instructions that will speed 3D graphics processing. The usual assortment of PC makers are expected to back the chip.

The "Katmai New Instructions" (or "MMX-2") used in the Pentium III are a set of 70 new processor-level codes that will speed the performance of 3D video, audio, and speech recognition. Katmai technology may eventually filter into other Pentium products in the same way that the original MMX instructions did