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AMD proposes SSE5 for faster games, media apps

New set of extensions to the x86 instruction set used by both AMD and Intel's chips would give software developers new tools to develop future applications.

AMD is asking software developers to consider its new x86 instructions when developing games and media applications in upcoming years.

Intel and AMD keep adding to the venerable x86 instruction set with new instructions that anticipate the performance of future applications. Intel will release SSE4 extensions later this year with the Penryn chips, and now AMD has proposed adding SSE5 instructions to its processors around the time the Fusion chips are released.

The proposal would add almost 50 new instructions that give software developers more tools to work with in designing next-generation applications. More details can be found on AMD's developer Web site, but a few computer science classes are recommended before wading through the details.

Intel and AMD have an extensive cross-licensing agreement for the x86 architecture in order to preserve software compatibility between their chips, so it's likely that each would eventually wind up using both SSE4 and SSE5 in future processors. But they don't have to share them prior to launching the chip, so it gives each chipmaker a temporary performance advantage on software built to see those instructions.