Katmai (Pentium III Core)


Katmai refers to the codename for the first generation of Intel’s Pentium III processors. Introduced in 1999, it was known for featuring innovative technology like Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE), enhancing the performance of 3D graphics and other multimedia elements. It was built using a 0.25 micron process and offered clock speeds ranging from 450 to 600 MHz.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Katmai” is: Kat-mai (Kæt-maɪ)

Key Takeaways

<ol> <li>Katmai, also known as Pentium III Core, was introduced by Intel in 1999 and was their seventh-generation x86 microarchitecture. This was an enhancement of the Deschutes Pentium II. </li> <li>One of the key features of Katmai was the introduction of SSE instruction set (Streaming SIMD Extensions) to improve performance on high demand applications like 3D rendering and video encoding. </li> <li>The Katmai chip had a clock speed ranging from 450 MHz to 1.4 GHz and used a Slot 1 SECC2 package for most versions, but later shifted to the more traditional socket 370 after the Coppermine iteration. </li></ol>


Katmai, or the Pentium III Core, holds significant importance in the evolution of technology as it’s the first in series to introduce Intel’s new architectural feature, the Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE). Launched in 1999 by Intel Corporation, this technology became a key player in boosting the performance of 3D graphics and other multimedia capabilities on personal computers. The introduction of SSE technology expanded the breadth of computation ability for each machine cycle, enhancing the efficiency of computer operations. The Katmai operates at a speed of 450 & 500 MHz, representing a significant leap in the microprocessor market. Therefore, it signifies Intel’s progressive drive in the advancement of processor technology and the path to high-performance computing.


The Katmai, also known as the Pentium III core, was developed with the intention of enhancing the performance of computers, especially in applications that involve 3D graphics and multimedia. Developed by Intel in the late 1990s, it marked a significant push towards avenues, such as interactive gaming and Internet-based applications, that require a high degree of computational sophistication. It also came built with an integrated Level 2 (L2) cache, which reduced the time a CPU took to access memory, improving overall performance.The primary usage of the Katmai revolved around its ‘Streaming SIMD Extensions’, also known as SSE. The main function of these extensions was to process multimedia (like music, video, games) and other floating-point-intensive applications. It possessed the ability to execute multiple tasks concurrently, enhancing overall system efficiency. In a nutshell, the purpose of Intel’s Katmai was meant to significantly boost computational proficiency in multimedia and graphic-intensive applications, making it a key technological development in the advancement of computing power.


1. Personal Computing: The Katmai architecture (Pentium III Core) was frequently used in desktop computers and laptops in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Many households and businesses utilized these for everyday tasks such as email, web browsing, and running office software.2. Educational Institutes: Schools, colleges and universities used computers powered by the Katmai technology to provide computer lab facilities for students. This allowed students to conduct research, write and edit papers, create presentations, and learn basic programming.3. Gaming: During the late 1990s to early 2000s, the Katmai (Pentium III Core) was popular among PC gaming enthusiasts. Well-known games from this era, like Half-Life, Quake III Arena, and The Sims, ran smoothly on Pentium III-based systems, providing a platform for the growth of PC gaming.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: What is Katmai (Pentium III Core)?A: Katmai, also known as the Pentium III core, is a specific version or generation of processors developed and manufactured by Intel. It was introduced in 1999 and is known for its notable improvements over the preceding core, Pentium II.Q: What improvements did the Katmai bring over the Pentium II core?A: The Katmai brought several advancements over the Pentium II. It featured a new set of 70 instructions called SSE (Streaming SIMD Extensions) for better performance in multimedia activities like 3D gaming and video processing. It also increased the L2 cache size.Q: What does SSE (Streaming SIMD Extensions) mean?A: SIMD stands for Single Instruction, Multiple Data. SSE is a type of instruction set used to perform the same operation on multiple data points simultaneously. This technology significantly improves performance when processing multimedia, like audio and video.Q: What was the processing speed of the Katmai (Pentium III core)?A: The initial release of the Katmai (Pentium III core) had a processing speed of 450 MHz to 600 MHz. Later versions increased the speed further, up to 1.4 GHz.Q: Was the Katmai (Pentium III core) used in mobile computing?A: Yes, the Katmai (Pentium III core) was also used extensively in mobile computing. Intel released a specific mobile version of the Pentium III processor, commonly used in laptops at the time.Q: What followed the Katmai (Pentium III core) in Intel’s processor lineup?A: The Coppermine was the successor to the Katmai in the Pentium III lineup. It introduced several improvements over the Katmai, including higher clock speeds and a smaller manufacturing process. Q: Can Katmai (Pentium III core) run modern software and operating systems?A: Due to advancements in technology, most modern software and operating systems have minimum requirements that exceed the capabilities of the Katmai (Pentium III core). As such, it would be largely incapable of running modern applications and operating systems.

Related Tech Terms

  • Socket 370: The motherboard interface designed specifically for the Pentium III processors.
  • SSE (Streaming SIMD Extensions): A SIMD instruction set extension by Intel used in Katmai for accelerating CPU calculations.
  • Coppermine: The successor of Katmai, an improved core for the Pentium III processors with smaller architecture and greater efficiency.
  • Microarchitecture: The way a computer’s processor is designed, specifically on a microscale. Katmai represents a certain microarchitecture of the Pentium III processors.
  • Intel Architecture Labs (IAL): The division of Intel that designed the Katmai New Instructions for the Pentium III core.

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