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Intel’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Paul Otellini, confirmed analysts in New York, USA, on Thursday that the company plans to enter a revamped version of the Pentium 4 “Prescott” processor later this year. The chip, according to the executive of the world’s largest chipmaker, will have 2MB cache as well as security and power-saving capabilities.

Security, Quiet Operation Streaming In

Earlier this month it transpired that Intel will introduce a yet another version of Prescott processor in the Q4 2004 that contain certain tweaks, such as higher speed processor system bus as well as larger L2 cache, to improve its performance. However, pure speed does not seem to be the only advantage of the forthcoming Pentium 4 “Prescott” processor, as the newcomer will feature XD – also known as NX bit – a certain flag that determines whether instructions can be executed from the page. Additionally, the new chips will feature a special technology called AAC that adjusts performance depending on load in order to maintain low heat dissipation and quiet operation of personal computers.

The NX bit capability is also available on Intel’s Itanium and Itanium 2 microprocessors as well as on AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Opteron series of processors. AMD’s 64-bit chips that are in ramping up today also implement Cool’n’Quiet technology that is aimed to make computers more silent.

Mr. Otellini also said that Intel Corp. is in position to enable 64-bit registers across top-to-bottom desktop family of CPUs, including Celeron and Pentium 4 products when Microsoft releases its operating system for such processors.

Extreme Performance on the Way

As reported previously, Intel is going to unleash a yet another version of Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor clocked at 3.46GHz with 1066MHz Quad Pumped Bus in the Q3 2004. The microprocessor is likely to contain 2MB of L3 cache and come in LGA775 packaging. The chip is not actually the new Prescott, but is likely to be based on the mature Gallatin core used in today’s Pentium 4 Extreme Edition products, therefore, will not contain XD and AAC technologies.

The first microprocessors with the new XD and AAC capabilities described by Mr. Otellini are likely to come in Q4 2004. The first such processor is expected to be the Pentium 4 processors “Prescott” 3.73GHz produced using 90nm process technology with 2MB of L2 cache. The chips may also sport 1066MHz processor system bus. Current Pentium 4 “Prescott” processors have 1MB of L2 cache, but still perform slower compared to Pentium 4 “Northwood” chips on the same frequency because of the deeper pipeline. 2MB of L2 and higher-speed bus may compensate deeper pipeline of the microprocessor. The product is expected to sport LGA775 packaging.

Semiconductor manufacturers usually tend to make their chips smaller so that the costs to produce them were lower. Adding more cache inevitably affects yield – the number of seaworthy chips on the wafer – and adds cost to the processors that should eventually retail at price points between $163 and $637. In case the yield is low, the cost to manufacture a central processing unit soars and ability of the company to supply enough such chips dips.

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