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Sources among Taiwanese mainboard makers state that due to some major issues with Intel’s Strained Silicon 90nm fabrication technology commercial availability of Prescott processors is expected only in the first quarter next year. In December 2003 Intel is very likely to paper-launch its Prescott processors and supply only a handful of such chips to selected solution providers for systems intended for gaming, just like AMD did with its Athlon XP 2800+ processor last year, sources claim.

Originally set to come in the second quarter of 2003, Intel’s code-named Prescott processor is based on the same NetBurst architecture as all Pentium 4 CPUs, but is made using 90nm technology. As a result of some problems with this fabrication process, Intel postponed the release of the chip till the Q4 this year, but, as we see now, the new CPUs will be de facto available in commercial quantities only next year.

There are no particular indications of the issues with the new microprocessors, but based on the fact that thermal and power consumption specifications of Prescott were changed earlier this year, it is assumed that there may be problems with some side-effects of high core-speed and Vcore, such as electromigration effect.

Last month during IDF Fall 2003 in the USA Intel showcased its Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor running at 3.20GHz with 2MB of additional cache. The chips are intended for competition with AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 CPUs, but are not available in the market at the moment. Eventually it may happen that this processor may become the only chip from Intel to compete with more powerful AMD Athlon 64 FX chips later this year if they make it into the market.

The whole piece of information is strictly unofficial and no Intel representatives commented on this story.

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