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The initial pricing of Intel code-named Prescott processor was revealed by an unofficial source here today. The fastest Socket 478 chip from Intel with 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus and 1MB of L2 cache in addition to loads of other improvements will cost you $640 in quantities starting from 1000 units at launch this year.

The processor currently code-named as Prescott and which branding is still to be determined will be produced using 90nm strained silicon manufacturing process. The Prescott core is said to consist of 100 million of transistors, about the same number as found on the high-end AMD Athlon 64 chips that also due to come this year.  The forthcoming Prescott CPUs will feature 16KB of L1 cache and 1MB of L2 cache. Furthermore, Intel will implement a more efficient pre-fetch mechanism as well as Hyper-Threading technology into its next-generation NetBurst processors. Besides, Prescott is expected to bring the highly-anticipated 13 Prescott New Instructions (PNI) some of which address thread synchronization and one should improve the speed of processing video encoding tasks. Other new instructions support floating-point-to-integer conversions, SIMD floating-point operations and complex arithmetic operations. Finally, Prescott will support Intel’s La Grande security technology that helps to create a safer computing environment for e-Business, enabling protected execution, memory and storage.

By the time Prescott will become available in the fourth quarter this year, Intel will reduce the pricing of its Pentium 4 desktop chips on the 26th of October. As a result, they will be priced at $420, $275, $260, $220 and $180 for 3.20GHz (800MHz), 3.0GHz (800MHz), 3.06GHz (533MHz), 2.80GHz (800MHz) and 280GHz (533MHz) respectively.

But is $640 price too high for a small piece of silicon even with all those juicy features? You all decide...

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