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Source close to Intel Corporation said the company plans to formally launch its 90nm desktop processors code-named Prescott on the 2nd of February, 2004. As expected, the firm will ship a family of Prescott chips at different frequencies under Pentium 4 with SSE3 brand-name.

Monday, the 2nd of February will be a big day for Intel, as the company unveils 7 new desktop microprocessors on that date. The list includes 4 Prescott processors with 1MB of L2 cache, 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus, SSE3, HT technology, running at 3.40GHz, 3.20GHz, 3.00GHz and 2.80GHz; Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor at 3.40GHz with 2MB cache, 800MHz QPB and HT technology; Intel Pentium 4 Northwood with 512KB cache at 3.40GHz; Intel Pentium 4 2.80A processor with 533MHz PSB, 1MB of cache, SSE3, based on Prescott core, but without HT technology.

The new NetBurst chips will be priced as follows:

  • Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.40GHz - $999;
  • Intel Pentium 4 “Northwood” 3.40GHz - $417;
  • Intel Pentium 4 SSE3 “Prescott” 3.40GHz - $417;
  • Intel Pentium 4 SSE3 “Prescott” 3.20GHz - $278;
  • Intel Pentium 4 SSE3 “Prescott” 3.00GHz - $218;
  • Intel Pentium 4 SSE3 “Prescott” 2.80GHz - $178;
  • Intel Pentium 4 SSE3 “Prescott” 2.80A - $163;

On the 15th of February the world’s largest microprocessor supplier with align “Northwood” and “Prescott” pricing, as a result, the chips with 512KB of cache and 1MB of cache will be priced equally.

Initial Prescott processors will come in 478-pin packaging, but, at least, some of them will not be compatible with current Socket 478 mainboards. In the second quarter next year Intel will bring processors and mainboards featuring LGA775 packaging.

Intel Prescott processor confronted a number of difficulties on its way to the market. Originally slated to come in the Q2 2003, the chip will be formally announced nearly three quarters later – on the 2nd of February 2004. Furthermore, some analysts indicate potential issues with increasing clock-speeds of Prescott processor because of effects similar to dielectric breakdown or so-called tunnel effect in Intel’s 90nm high-speed CPUs.

According to some sources, Intel’s Prescott design does have 64-bit extensions in addition to improvements in Hyper-Threading implementation and SSE3 realization. These extensions are not compatible with AMD64 technology and will not be enabled in first Prescott chips. Moreover, some say Intel is not likely to turn on additional functionality of the Prescott processor until 2005, probably when AMD’s 64-bit processors become more or less wide-spread on the market and may affect Intel’s sales.

Intel’s officials did not comment on the report.

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