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Intel Demos New P4 'Extreme Edition' 393

typobox43 writes "Louis Burns of Intel displayed a "high-definition video stream running on a 'mystery' desktop processor." This processor turned out to be the new Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.20 GHz, with an extra 2 Megabytes of cache."
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Intel Demos New P4 'Extreme Edition'

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  • by The_Rippa ( 181699 ) * on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:35PM (#6989294)
    Saturday. Saturday! SATURDAY!

    At Intel Headquarters!

    Witness the unveiling of the next...



    Fastest processor you can imagine.

    Pen-Pent-Pentium EXXXXXTREME

    It's 3.2 gigahertz of binary badness.

    Come witness as it peforms calculations at mind-boggling speeds!

    Special Guest The Blue Man Group

    Tickets start at $20 for adults, discounts for children and seniors

    If you miss this, you'd better be dead... or in jail...

    And if you're in jail, break out!
  • by edrugtrader ( 442064 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:36PM (#6989307) Homepage
    they must be reading maddox's site [xmission.com]
  • by Osrin ( 599427 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:36PM (#6989309) Homepage
    ... I struggle to tax it with anything I do, including some of the more intensive games.

    This "extreme" version of the chip has to be aimed at a very niche market, at least for the next couple of years until more processor intensive software catches up.
    • by Fulcrum of Evil ( 560260 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:41PM (#6989350)

      This "extreme" version of the chip has to be aimed at a very niche market

      Yes, it's the 'mine's bigger' market, though I wouldn't call it niche, exactly.

    • ... I struggle to tax it with anything I do

      Try taxing it with something a computer would do...

      • by Glonoinha ( 587375 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @09:14PM (#6990707) Journal
        All a matter of time.

        I remember reading once in a Usenet thread - some guy was trolling and asked 'will my P90, overclocked to 100MHz, be enough to handle the flight combat simulators you guys are discussing?'

        The first time I read it it was hilarious because he was either bragging or dreaming, the P90 chip was out in limited supply at the time and was easily 50% faster than the common P60 machine used by the sim-gamers, not to mention the overclocking it. Of course it was going to be fast enough.

        The second time I saw it (a few years later) it was hilarious because the bare minimum system for any sim/game was a PII/300 with a 3D graphics card and his P90 was so pitifully underpowered it didn't have a chance.

        So we get to enjoy the 'is this CPU enough' question twice, generally, for any given CPU. Just a matter of timing.
    • I struggle to tax it with anything I do, including some of the more intensive games.

      Try "nice -n 20 dd bs=1 if=/dev/zero of=/dev/null" ...
    • I can tax any computer out there by loading up the source code for my last large project (1+ mill lines o code) and hitting compile. Sure it only takes a min and a half on my current compiling system (Quad 550 Xeon with 2 megs cache per CPU) but on a faster system it would take less time.
    • by reporter ( 666905 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @06:05PM (#6989563) Homepage
      This "extreme" version of the chip has to be aimed at a very niche market, at least for the next couple of years until more processor intensive software catches up.

      The processor-intensive software is already here. It is called HSpice, Verilog, fluid-dynamics simulation, etc. The Pentium 4 has done nicely in the engineering workstation market, and the "Extreme Edition" should do even better.

      Please check the SPEC web site [spec.org] for a performance evaluation of the Pentium 4's floating-point (FP) performance. In particular, it outperforms the UltraSPARC III even though the latter has a 2-to-1 advantage in the width of its databus -- 64 bits versus 32 bits.

      What changed the x86 chips from also-ran losers in FP performance to the kings of the hill? SSE.

      The SSE extension to the x86 instruction set architecture (ISA) opened up a whole new world of applications for the Pentium III and successors. Older Pentiums were saddled with a FP stack that hurt their performance. The SSE extension established a directly addressable bank of 8 128-bit registers or 32 32-bit registers for FP operations. As a result, the Pentium 4 outperforms the UltraSPARC III on video applications.

      At 3.2 GHz, the "Extreme Edition" of the Pentium 4 should help the Pentium 4 to capture even more of the engineering workstation market. Nowadays, the first-choice workstation among engineers in Silicon Valley and Boston's Route 128 is Linux running on a fast Pentium/Athlon, not Solaris lumbering on a slow UltraSPARC III.

      ... from the desk of the reporter [geocities.com]

    • 1GHz is plenty! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Daniel Wood ( 531906 ) *
      Yeah, you probably were one of those people too.

      This CPU is aimed at the gaming/multimedia community. All that extra cache should make Doom3/HL2 speed along a little better. It should also help us that encode DVDs/DivX on the fly. What supprises me is that they didn't finally go to 1GHz FSB. Yeah, I know, that would mean you need DDR500(PC4000). While I'm sure you make have problems taxing your 3.2GHz CPU with MS Word or Counter-Strike, I am left longing for more CPU power with my Dual Athlon MP2100+ when
      • Re:1GHz is plenty! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @06:44PM (#6989813) Journal
        What supprises me is that they didn't finally go to 1GHz FSB. , I know, that would mean you need DDR500(PC4000).

        Actually, no you don't. Apple sells their dual 2ghz box, that has a 1ghz fsb (dual pipe), and 400mhz ram. goto apple.com/powermac for info. It obviously doesn't talk to the ram that fast, but 1g pipe to the chipset doesn't suck either. Oh yea, and up to 8gb of ram so far. its a bit different in other aspects as well.

        I am just waiting to score one of the dual 2.0 boxes used (cant afford $3500) but that will take a while. They also bench out better cycle to cycle that intel (similar to amd or better) Its actually the IBM 970 cpus (reduced power 4 cpu) that IBM is said to be releasing soon in entry level servers, with 4 cpus, for $3500, for Linux.
    • Try video editing. You will be annoyed by the slowness of your shiny new chip.
    • by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @07:01PM (#6989933)
      Try compiling KDE. My 2GHz P4 struggles to do it in under a working day. Heck, it takes nearly a minute just to recompile a KDE theme after making a change to it!
    • Try MPEG-4 encoding. With all the XviD settings at max, I get ~4 FPS on my Athlon XP 2400+ when transcoding DVDs at full 16:9 resolution.
    • This "extreme" version of the chip has to be aimed at a very niche market, at least for the next couple of years until more processor intensive software catches up.

      While I agree with one of the other posters that many high end CPUs are sold to the "mine's bigger" crowd, Intel naming surely supports this idea, there are some legitimate advantages to getting a faster CPU even when you don't have a need for the additional computational power. I'm getting along well with a P3 1.2G but towards the end of the
  • by Znonymous Coward ( 615009 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:36PM (#6989312) Journal
    Extreme close up! Whhoooooooooooo... Whhoooooooooooo.
  • Level Three Cache (Score:5, Informative)

    by Master Bait ( 115103 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:37PM (#6989324) Homepage Journal
    Ho hum. I suppose if it was level two cache, Intel would have said so very loudly, so they just call it 'cache'.

    • Re:Level Three Cache (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Don't knock it, even if its operating at 1/3 the cpu bus, an extra 2MB of level 3 cache will give a significant boost to things like video games and many other interactive cpu intensive applications.
  • Multiprocessor? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tinrobot ( 314936 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:38PM (#6989327)
    The rumors are that this chips are the same or very similar to the $4000 Xeon MPs with 2MB cache. I wonder if these will work on the workstation class MP motherboards. Would be sweeeeet.
  • by JoeLinux ( 20366 ) <joelinux&gmail,com> on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:40PM (#6989340) Homepage
    I wanna see major competition between Intel and AMD. That way I can get my 875P motherboard "tossed in free with the purchase of any Intel Pentium 4 Extreme(tm) Processor." It's about time I upgraded from a Celeron 433 anyway. Ghost Recon plays more like Ghost Recon: The Slideshow.

  • by tugrul ( 750 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:41PM (#6989353)
    ... with 1MB of L3. The results weren't that exciting. [tomshardware.com]
    • by ciroknight ( 601098 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:58PM (#6989506)
      But at the same time, the Level Three Cache is MUCH "further away" from the core in the sense that it takes much longer for data to travel accross the lines of the processor to get to it. Level Two isn't much closer, but that little edge does make a huge difference in this case. Game developers now have room to seriously push their applications because the processor will be able to cache more (data||instructions). It should vastly improve scores on very memory intensive apps.

      On the other hand, I would much rather see them quadruple the size of the Level One Cache. This would improve performance on these processors, but at the same time, without the extra registers that a 64-bit chip would have, these improvements are limited by their usefulness, not to mention they would take up loads more valuable core real estate. I can't wait to see Intel move to a 64-bit chip with a 2 meg level 2 and maybe a 128k level one... we'd start to see chips FLY....
      • According to this ExtremeTech [extremetech.com] article about this cpu, its L3.

        The gaming-optimized Pentium 4 contains 2 Mbytes of level-3 cache, and will work with existing "Springdale" and "Canterwood" chipsets, Burns said.
      • by akuma(x86) ( 224898 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @07:11PM (#6989994)
        Computer architecture 101.

        Average memory access latency per memory access =
        (L1_hit_rate * L1_hit_cycle_time) +
        (L1_miss_L2_hit_rate * L2_hit_cycle_time) +
        (L2_miss_L3_hit_rate * L3_hit_cycle_time) +
        (L3_miss_rate * DRAM_latency)

        80-95% of your accesses will hit the 8k L1 in typical applications. This is the vast majority of the accesses. The latency of this cache is TINY on a P4. Do the math for a 3.2GHz 3 cycle cache.

        Given a curve of cache-size vs. latency and hit rates for all the cache sizes, the optimal hierarchy is a simple optimization problem. I can assure you that this equation has been solved and the optimal heirarchy has been chosen (given the other constraints of obviously die-size and power).

        Quadrupling the L1 will double the latency and kill your average access time, making your chip almost certainly slower.

        Bigger caches mean longer latencies. It's limited by the basic laws of physics. There's only so much distance you can traverse in a ceratin amount of time and larger caches have longer distances (meaning higher RC delays).

        The reason we want larger outer level caches is because the DRAM_latency is enourmous and has an impact on average access time. Hardware prefetching can also help to alleviate this problem - This solution is available on both Athlon and P4 chips and will only get better in the future because it is absolutely critical to hide this DRAM latency.

        Ok, now to address the notion that more registers will improve performance...
        You won't get as much performance out of more registers as you might think. First of all, when the compiler runs out of registers it spills the excess to the stack -- pushing it out with a store (spill) and reading it back in with a load (fill).

        In modern processors (just about every chip out on the market), there is the concept of store buffers. Each store writes it's data to a store buffer. Subsequent loads that require data from stores, get their data by forwarding out of the store buffer. So -- the spilled store writes the buffer and the fill load reads the buffer -- all of this happening much faster than a memory access because it's just reading out a local on-chip buffer, so the load looks more like a fast register read. This architectural trick emulates the effect of having more registers, subject to the size of your store buffer. There are even more advanced architectural tricks you can play to completely eliminate the spill-fill pair from the critical path (look up memory-renaming in the literature).

        If you're worried about chip-real estate, you should be very concerned that a 64-bit application's pointers will take up twice as much space effectively making your caches and memory bandwidth appear smaller.
    • I am curious to learn why. Last time I've seen comparisons (it might be at AnandTech), a 2.0GHz Xeon with 2MB cache compared well with the 2.8Xeon with only 512k, and I think both had the same FSB.
  • text incase of /.ing (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:41PM (#6989354)
    Intel Developer Forum Cache for questions

    By Nebojsa Novakovic: Tuesday 16 September 2003, 18:14
    WHEN, AT today's IDF opening, Louis Burns demonstrated a high-definition video stream running on a "mystery" desktop processor, everyone must hve thought it was the upcoming Prescott part. Wrong! It was the (also upcoming), previously unheard of, even at The Inq, Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor Extreme Edition 3.20 GHz , with an extra 2 Megabytes of pron. In Intel's own words, "this new processor will be targeted at high-end gamers and computing power users."

    As a matter of fact, 2MB cache will help a lot those users whose apps (including games and such) have a lot of big cache-friendly *wink* pieces of code and data, but probably not the data-streaming intensive stuff. I do expect to see speedups anywhere from 2% to 20% depending on the application, maybe some more if using multithreading/multitasking (large cache can keep in code / date pieces from more threads).

    However, this doesn't seem to be a new CPU in reality - after all, Intel is doing very well with its XeonMP 2.8 GHz 2 MB cache CPU, and how much effort does it really take to repackage it for the 3.2 GHz / 800 FSB desktop with less stringent thermal and reliability requirements than the big iron, anyway?

    Intel would gain a lot with this move. If, touch wood, there are problems with Prescott, a large-cache Pentium4 part will provide some buffer against large-cache Athlon64 (i.e. rebadged Opteron) parts. At the same time, enormous extra benefits from the economies of scale would further reduce the identical die XeonMP manufacturing cost, helping Intel compete better on the quad-CPU server front as well. Interesting move? I think so. Let's see how the beast performs in real!
  • by Thinkit3 ( 671998 ) * on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:42PM (#6989364)
    What I'm really not impressed with is Intel saying desktop users don't need sixty-four bit. Well, we don't need gobs of cache. We need sixty-four bits.
    • by C. Mattix ( 32747 ) <cmattix @ g m a il.com> on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:53PM (#6989450) Homepage
      The difference is that all the existing apps would need to be recompiled to fully use the 64bit. Even lowly DOS can use performance improvements with a larger cache. And with Hyperthreading the number of clocks per instruction is very small, this lends itself to using a larger cache more often.

      See also:

      Ars Technia on Caching [arstechnica.com]

    • Why do we need 64 bits? Are you running into the 4GB memmory limit the current 32 bit line of CPUs has? Do you personally need terabytes of RAM? Because that's about all you get when you move up to a 64 bit processor. Sure, they also throw in a few optimizations so it appears to go a bit faster doing common applications, but there is no real benifit to desktop users. There are real benifits to servers and data centers, which is why Intel aims their 64 bit Itanium products towards that market instead of
  • Extreme price... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:47PM (#6989407)
    $740 in 1,000 unit quantities [anandtech.com]. I think I'll pass.
    • Yeah but $750 in 2 months for a chip that today costs almost 4 grand? Might be more than a lot of people can pay, but is actually a pretty decent price! (I've paid a lot more for a lot less in the past)
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:47PM (#6989408)
    Louis Burns of Intel displayed a "high-definition video stream running on a 'mystery' desktop processor.

    Gosh, one of these days I'll have to take a sneak peak at the hardware they run in that mystery little room in my local theater. The monitor is so big, the soundcard is great, and I can see it all for a buck!
  • X-treme, XXXtreme, X-tream, XT-ream, AXEtreme, Xtreme, or is generally Xed-up in anyway.

    Please send a message to the X-tra stupid Advertising XX-cutives that X in the name is X-tremely dated and not an X-ellent idea.

    The new marketing buzzword is 'Shit-Hot', as in "The new Intel Shit-Hot P4!"


  • So, correct me if I am wrong, but isn't what the inquirer saying is that intel could be repackaging the xenon processor as an pentium.....

    I thought the xenon was 64 bit, and ran 32 bits under emulation much slower than current pentiums.... So, I think they may be barking up the wrong tree..

    Intel just found a way of squeezing more cache on the chip!


    Buy 3 Led light Keychains from me for a fiver . see here [ebay.co.uk] Thanks.

    • thought the xenon was 64 bit, and ran 32 bits under emulation much slower than current pentiums...

      No, you're thinking of the Itanuim.

    • Re:64bit vs 32bit (Score:5, Informative)

      by 2nd Post! ( 213333 ) <gundbear@pCHICAGOacbell.net minus city> on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:57PM (#6989497) Homepage
      Nope, the only 'desktop' 64 bit processors come from IBM and AMD;
      AMD Opteron
      AMD Athlon64
      IBM PPC970

      Intel's 64 bit solutions is the Itanium! Anything with the Pentium moniker is 32 bit. The Itanium is the one which suffers 32 bit emulation lag.

      So if you want 64 bit, you're stuck with, realistically, a Mac or some brand of Athlon CPU.
    • Re:64bit vs 32bit (Score:3, Informative)

      by Naito ( 667851 )
      You're thinking of the Itanium. It used to run 32bit X86 under a hardware emulator, but that was about as fast as the Pentium MMX. Intel has since switched to using a software emulator, something like Transmeta does with the Cruesoe, and it's actually faster than the hardware emulator, about the same speed as a Pentium III now.

      The Xeon is a Pentium4 in different packaging and with SMP enabled. Actually, SMP is probably enabled with the Pentium4 too, but since there are no such motherboards and you can't
    • Re:64bit vs 32bit (Score:3, Informative)

      by chill ( 34294 )
      You're confused.

      The Xeon series has always been Intel's "server" chips. Mostly a different pin out and lots more cache. They're souped up versions of the normal chips.

      The Itanium is the 64-bit unit.
    • The Xenon is 32 bit. You're thinking of the Itanium.
  • Paper Launch? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dumass ( 602667 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:51PM (#6989438)
    Not to be labeled a fanboy (although not necessarily denying that status)... but this sounds like a paper launch just to take some press away from AMD.

    "He [Burns] said the chip will be available to buy in the 30-60-day timeframe." from this [theinquirer.net] article.

    Prescott is going to be late and has been getting bad press for not being backward compatible with current motherboards. Why not make some noise with a product that wont be around for another month?
  • extra 2 mb's? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mOoZik ( 698544 )
    So it's not just a 2 meg cache but is in ADDITION to an existing amount? 256? 512? I'm confused.
  • database searches (Score:3, Interesting)

    by chipace ( 671930 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:54PM (#6989459)
    This chip would be great for database searches... it has more cache than uni-processor xeons and it probably will be cheaper. Thanks gamers! I guess the wait for Prescott is real... seeing that Intel had this chip on tap.
  • by HeroicAutobot ( 171588 ) * on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:56PM (#6989482) Homepage
    CNET has an article [com.com] with more details (or speculation more likely).

    Some interesting quotes:

    "The performance boost is awesome," Burns said Tuesday during a speech at the Intel Developer Forum here.

    "It is a Xeon with a different pin-out, or least that's what it looks like to me," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at Insight 64.

    Intel did not disclose the price of the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition. It likely will be as expensive as its counterpart, the 2.8GHz Xeon with 2MB cache. That chip sells for $3,692 in quantities of 1,000.

    "It absolutely will be kind of pricey," Brookwood said.

  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ENOENT ( 25325 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:56PM (#6989492) Homepage Journal
    3.2 GHz! That's 6.7% faster than 3.0 GHz! You feel the need to send money to Intel! Fnord! Imagine how fast the Internet will be if you have one of these on your desktop! You will need a neon-colored bunny suit just to look at your computer! You will be assimilated by the Blue Man Group!

    • Re:Wow! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Aadain2001 ( 684036 )
      I remember the days when an increase in only 50 MHz as a big deal! Now they role at a 200 MHz increase and people say "it's only a 6.7% increase, big deal"?!?. What, do you expect them to role out a 1 GHz increase with each new chip they put out? Time for a little visit back to reality.
  • by Ratface ( 21117 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @05:58PM (#6989507) Homepage Journal
    Would that give you a PC with BuTtoX Extreme inside?? :-D
  • breaking news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by colinleroy ( 592025 )
    as usual from Intel... Just add some megahertz and some cache, it'll be good enough. On paper. What about improving technologies, like IBM or AMD do ?
  • I guess you could say I'm a big Intel fan-boy (only because i've had bad experiences with AMD and Cyrx that has left me jaded) but i'm not about to get all sprung about this. Right now i'm using a p4 1.6 with 1g mem and 5200fx, it runs every game ive played fine - even in multiplayer (games = BF1942, WC3, NwN+Exp, etc...)

    The way my system is setup I can support HT so eventually i'll max my system out using a 3.06 with HT. And that will last me another couple years at least.

    But right now I feel robbed. Rob
  • by narftrek ( 549077 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @06:23PM (#6989685)
    What is it with Extreme as the buzzword these days? When you hear extreme you think of people jumping off cliffs or launching motorcycles off tall things. Things that some may consider DANGEROUS or STUPID. It can also mean "on the edge" as in pushing the limits or ground breaking technology. I don't know about the rest of you but I don't want a computer that pushes the edge, is dangerous, or stupid. I want a nice stable (as in doesn't crash 10 times a day) computer that I can watch my pr0n on. Is that too much to ask? Extreme is worn out in my book-pick a new buzzword.
    • Being an excessive literalist myself, I always think that "extreme" indicates that something is at the far end of a spectrum.

      For example, this new chip is at the far positive end of the price spectrum, and at the far negative end of the "will I really need this in the next three years" spectrum. It, being on the far ends of two spectrums, qualifies as EXXTREME.

      (Nevermind that my first online nick had xtreme in it. I was 15, sue me.)
  • by dubiousdave ( 618128 ) <dubiousdave@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @06:31PM (#6989740) Journal
    The second part of their article is here [theinquirer.net].
  • Awwww (Score:4, Funny)

    by sys$manager ( 25156 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @06:50PM (#6989859)
    I was hoping for Pentuim 4 Turbo Alpha.

  • by jazman ( 9111 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @06:58PM (#6989911)
    Here we go again. Fastest chip in the world; nobody, not even weather computer people could ever want faster, blah blah, bollocks bollocks; everyone knows in 12 months granny will want a PC with one in it and we'll all "need" something with a gazyllion terabytes of RAM and that runs at a googolplex hertz just to do some silly emails and stuff.

    Was looking through a 1984 copy of Personal Computer World and it was saying exactly the same about the new 2MHz 8086 or whatever. Would've thought those crazy marketers'd have learnt by now that in IT there's a new "fastest in the world" every few months.

    Still, I suppose some people will be new around here and be impressed by this sort of crap. I know I was, first time (probably in 1981 or thereabouts) I saw a front page "Fastest in the World!" story; second time round I thought hang on, haven't we been here before?

    And yes, I know that's before some of you here were born, before any of you point it out and depress me even further.

  • by WndrBr3d ( 219963 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @07:01PM (#6989931) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps I'm confused here, but I remember TomsHardware [tomshardware.com] doing an article on the new Barton processors with double the cache (512k) didnt produce really noticable performance increases in most 'high end user' applications (gaming/video encoding.

    Could Intel be planning a compiler that would utilize this cache??
    • the P4's archtecture (sp) is such that it is incredibly sensitive to cache misses due to its long
      pipeline (20 i believe). Thats why higher memory bandwidth and larger caches make such a huge difference on the P4. Where as the Athlons have a much shorter pipeline (12 i believe), the extra memory and cache dont help out as much.
  • Old IBM XT? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WatertonMan ( 550706 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2003 @07:38PM (#6990182)
    Wasn't the 80286 in the old IBM XTs the "extreme" chip. At least I thought that was what the XT stood for. Maybe it stood for extra? Anyone know?

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev