There are unofficial claims that Intel will add Pentium 4 processors with 1MB of cache into its product lineup later this year. Because of dramatic problems with 90nm Strained Silicon technology we reported about on Friday, the company presumably plans to strengthen its product lineup with Pentium 4 processors running at 2.80, 3.00 and 3.20GHz core-speeds with 1MB of cache to support sales this year amid Athlon 64 ramp.
The Prescott 3.20 and 3.40GHz processors with 1MB of L2 are now slated to come in late Q4 2003 or early Q1 2004. Obviously, the first revenue shipments of the Prescott will be made this year, however, the chips will become available massively only early next year, even though there may be some high-end systems for gamers with Prescott heart inside.
What is not quite clear is that, as The Inquirer reports, Intel adds 2.80, 3.00 and 3.20GHz Pentium 4 microprocessors into the product line late this year, presumably at the launch date of Prescott. The chips will cost the same price as the appropriate Pentium 4 processors with 512KB L2 after the price-cut on the 26th of October - $417, $278 and $218 for 3.20, 3.00 and 2.80GHz respectively – but will feature bumping 1MB of cache.
The Pentium 4 microprocessors 1M with 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus and the Hyper-Threading technology will provide a free performance boost compared to CPUs available now. Moreover, in the second quarter next year Intel will roll-out its Prescott processors at 2.80 and 3.00GHz offering even more speed at the same price with today’s Pentium 4 with mentioned speeds.
Unfortunately, there is no information whether the additional cache is actually L2 cache or L3 cache. As we know, earlier this year Intel re-tailored its Gallatin core used in Xeon MP processors for desktop Pentium 4 Extreme Edition chip with 2MB of L3 cache and also implemented 1MB L3 cache into Xeon DP 1M chips. Hence, at this point I can assume that the new Pentium 4 processors will feature 512KB L2 and L3 cache of 1MB that will result – because of Intel’s inclusive cache architecture – in 1MB total cache memory. In case Intel redesigns Northwood core to provide 1MB of L2 cache, it means that the company has some major problems with its 90nm Prescott and is not sure it will be able to supply commercial quantities of such CPUs right after the launch.