The single most important impetus behind the Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) was to achieve a significant performance boost when executing multimedia applications. To this end, Intel® needed to:
Extend the SIMD model to include SIMD FP capability (as MMX made SIMD integer operations possible).
Provide new instructions specifically tailored to boost the performance of multimedia applications.
Enhance memory write operations and to make more efficient use of the FSB.
It should be noted that applications other than multimedia applications can also realize significant benefit from the new SSE feature set.