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Intel’s CPU developers are facing massive re-organization, as the company seems to be cancelling the further evolution of NetBurst processors. According to the most recent information, not only chips for 1P and 2P machines are canned, but some next-generation microprocessors for multi-processor servers are also shelved.

A report over The Inquirer suggests that Intel’s engineering team who has been working on the Tejas processor project is assigned to work on other products. Moreover, the team that has been in charge of the next-gen Xeon MP chip code-named Potomac has been dissolved. People working on the chip will end up in the desktop product group. Moreover, the follower of the Potomac – the Tulsa chip – will never see the light of the day.

Intel’s Potomac processor is the company’s first x86 chip for MP servers that will incorporate Extended Memory 64 Technology (EM64T) and some other advantages over currently available Xeon MP products. Potomac will have 1MB of L2 cache and 2MB or larger L3 cache. Tulsa processor will emerge in late 2005 and is likely to be a dual-core version of Potomac processor with some innovations. Both Tulsa and Potomac will feature revamped NetBurst architecture – the same as used in the current Intel Xeon MP products.

The source clearly states that Intel cancelled the Tulsa project, but the destiny of the Potomac is not clear. In case the Potomac Xeon MP product is also abandoned, it is not clear which chips will form Intel’s x86 multiprocessor server offerings next year.

Earlier today it transpired that Intel shelved next-generation Pentium 4 processor Tejas as well as next-generation Xeon DP chip called Jayhawk. Both chips are based on the same NetBurst micro-architecture and are reportedly canned because of excessive amount of heat generated because of high core-clocks and issues with Intel’s 90nm process technology.

With the cancellation of the numerous projects it may emerge that Intel actually abandons the whole NetBurst architecture that was expected to form the company’s product lineups for various market segments including value, mainstream and high-end desktops, workstations, cost-effective servers and multi-processor servers.

Besides NetBurst that powers Pentium 4 and Xeon microprocessors, Intel today has IA64/EPIC architecture used in the Itanium 2 central processing units developed for high-end enterprise servers as well as the enhanced P6 architecture found in the Pentium M chips. The NetBurst was introduced in 2000, the IA64 saw the light of the day in 2000, the P6 architecture was originally brought into the market in late 1995.


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