1993 Computer Chronicles on Spectre


The Computer Chronicles YouTube account has been cross-posting material from the Internet Archive. I’m not sure how kosher that is, but if it exposes more people to this wonderful 1980s-90s programme, I’ll all for it.

Play The Computer Chronicles - Pentium PCs (1993)

I was watching this 1993 episode on Pentiums, with Curt Nichols from Intel. It sent a shiver down my spine.

This parallel processing is combined with a branch prediction unit. That branch prediction unit allows the chip to guess ahead of time what the software is going to do. And it turns out the chip is so smart it guesses correctly about eighty percent of the time, so we get about a twenty-five percent performance speed-up right there.

This may have been one of the first pieces of PR for a feature we learned more than two decades later as being a serious security flaw. I also want his tie.

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