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Intel Corporation is likely to roll-out Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor at 3.40GHz in the second quarter for LGA775 form-factor, sources close to the company said. The move will effectively give a “green light” for 0.13 micron processors into LGA775 packaging specially developed for high-speed chips made using thinner technologies.

The 3.40GHz version of Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor will be formally introduced in February 2004. Just like its predecessor clocked at 3.20GHz, the newcomer will have 2MB of integrated L3 cache as well as sport 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus and Hyper-Threading technology. All Extreme Edition Pentium 4 processors are powered on Intel’s code-named Gallatin core with large level-three cache originally designed for multiprocessor servers.

Both Xeon MP and Pentium 4 Extreme Edition product families are made at 0.13 micron node that practically reached its final point and will hardly allow producing chips at 3.60GHz or 3.80GHz speeds. Since appearance of Pentium 4 Extreme Edition based on 90nm core this year is unlikely, the 3.40GHz is expected to be the highest-speed for the Extreme Edition processors in 2004.

Since Intel is reportedly introducing Pentium 4 “Prescott” processor at 3.60GHz in FCmPGA4 in Q2, the purpose of adding Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.40GHz in LGA775 packaging is not that clear, but there may be too reasons for the move: to offer more high-performance chips in terms of units, despite of the fact that top-of-the-line Pentium 4 typically costs $637, while the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.40GHz will be quoted at $999; to provide an offering that is potentially faster than 3.60GHz Pentium 4 “Prescott”.

There is no information whether it is possible for Intel to add more SKUs based on 0.13 micron technology for Socket T.

Spokespersons for Intel Corporation did not comment on the story.

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