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Although Intel Corporation is likely to miss its initial time-to-market by about three quarters with its new Pentium 4 processors code-named Prescott, the company is still quite optimistic about its next-generation chip. Sources close to the company said on Saturday that Intel is confident its Prescott processor will be the fastest ramping CPU in the company’s history because of thinner 90nm manufacturing process as well as 300mm wafers.

The Pentium 4 processor with SSE3 technology also known under internal code-name Prescott is on track to be released commercially in the first quarter of next year. According to Intel’s president Paul Otellini, the Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker expects to ship around 70 million of its new Prescott microprocessors made using 90nm fabrication process in 2004. The ramp is expected to be very rapid and shipments of CPUs with Prescott cores inside are projected to account for 60% of all Pentium shipments as well as 40% of all Celeron shipments next year, the firm expressed its hopes during a meeting with analysts in New York on Thursday.

X-bit labs managed to get a bit more precise data on the Prescott ramp – it is pretty much more detailed, but comes from an unofficial source and may change without notice.

In fact, Intel Prescott processors are already supplied by Intel in very limited quantities. It means, there are about 1% or less Prescott Pentium chips are coming from Intel’s  fabs already transitioned to 90nm technology. In the first quarter there will be about 25% of Prescott in the Pentium 4 product mix and in the Q2 2004 Intel projects to supply 70% of Pentium processors based on the Prescott core. For Value desktop computers Intel will supply 5% of Prescott-Celeron chips in the first quarter and roughly 40% in the second quarter 2004. This essentially confirms the company will announce its value 90nm parts in the Q2 2004, not in the Q1, as some sources suggested earlier.

Intel anticipates the consumer desktop segment to lead the Prescott ramp. The new processor with SSE3 technology is believed to account 40% and 90% of Pentium 4 shipments in the Q1 and Q2 respectively. Distributor channel should be a little bit more conservative and is set to have about 45% and 80% of Prescott chips in the Pentium 4 product mix in the first and the second quarters next year.

The Pentium 4 Prescott processors with 1MB of cache are set to emerge early next year in different speed-flavours, including models at 3.40GHz, 3.20GHz, 3.0GHz as well as 2.80GHz. The chips are to be priced at $417, $278, $218, and $178 respectively. In the second quarter 2004 Intel is adding a 3.60GHz model into the line and is rolling-out its new LGA775 processor packaging in addition to totally new platforms with support for PCI Express and DDR-II.

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