The Pentium is Intel’s fifth-generation x86 architecture microprocessor and successor to the company’s 486 line of chips. The wordpentium doesn’t mean anything, but it contains the syllable pent, the Greek root forfive. Originally Intel was going to call the Pentium the 80586, in keeping with the chip’s 80×86 predecessors. But the company didn’t like the idea that AMD, Cyrix, and any other clone makers could use the name 80×86 as well, so Intel decided on a trademarkable name – hence Pentium.
Pentium architecture chips offered just under twice the performance of a 486 processor per clock cycle. their introduction in 1993 revolutionizing the PC market by putting more power into the case of the average PC than NASA had in its air-conditioned computer rooms of the early 1960s.
The first Pentium CPU debuted as a 60 and 66 MHz chip, integrated 3.1 million transistors and was built in an 0.80-micron production process. By the time of the dual-core Presler-based Pentium D of early 2006, the number of transistors had reached a staggering 376 million and the process technology had shrunk to 0.65nm. However, by that time it also appeared that Intel were set to slowly drop the Pentium brand name as the company transitioned to its new Intel Core microarchitecture.