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UPDATE: A representative for Intel Corporation told X-bit labs the company had never released any precise details in regards the dual-core strategy. The information published herein should not be considered as based on official statements.

Intel Corporation may release dual-core Pentium 4 “Prescott” processors in late 2005, a report over Geek.com web-site claims. If the information is correct, the roadmap of the world’s largest manufacturer of central processing units gets completely reshuffled once again.

Dual-Core Prescott Spotted

At the Intel/PC Magazine-sponsored Technology for Business Today seminar in Washington, D.C., Intel representatives discussed the present and future of computers touching upon the modern and next-generation microprocessors. The firm’s officials reiterated the company’s plans to issue dual-core processors in 2005 and even shed some light on the technical information about the chips. Apparently, the desktop processors will continue to utilize the NetBurst architecture and at this point such central processing units are referred as dual-core Prescott microprocessors. Mobile dual-core chips will have architecture similar to that of the Pentium M products available today. Such products may also find themselves in desktops, though, the premier performance will be offered only by dual-core NetBurst products.

The information about dual-core Prescott processors fully modifies everything that has been reported about the future of Intel’s processors during the most recent weeks. Because of rising power consumption of the new Pentium 4 chips it was believed that Intel would withdraw from the NetBurst in favour of more efficient Pentium M architecture.

Four 64-bit Microprocessors?

Intel reportedly said that with the HyperThreading technology enabled operating systems will report availability of four microprocessors into the system when a single dual-core Prescott is installed. Representatives also confirmed that future Prescott products will feature 64-bit capability.

Concerns over Power Consumption

As reported numerous times, because of certain issues with Intel’s 90nm fabrication process, actual chips made using it heat pretty well presumably as a result of power leakage processes. Power leakage is current flowing in a circuitry that is not being used at the moment. While the problem has been around for decades, it became dramatically serious with Intel’s Pentium 4 E processors known as Prescott. The high-end Prescott chips dissipate 103W today and will increase the figure towards 115W later during the year.

In early May 2004 the Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker canned two of its desktop and server projects code-named Tejas and Jayhawk because of emphasizing the dual-core chips. It was believed that in 2005 Intel would come up with dual-core processors that feature more power-economical architecture. In case the information reported now is correct, both products were struck out because of dual-core Prescott-based products.

In case Intel does not seriously redesign its existing microprocessors and tweak its fabrication process, including possible change of dielectrics, power consumption of the future Pentium processors will be in the range of 200W, which is hard to cool-down using traditional methods and also hard to feed with energy. Mainboard makers concerned about power usage by current Prescott chips and are not likely to be satisfied with numbers about two times higher compared to those now.

NetBurst or P6? Both!

Earlier Intel’s spokesperson said that “2005 will be a great year for Intel” because dual-core chips “are great for customers”. Intel is emphasizing that the idea to come up with dual-core chips in 2005 goes from the discovery that the company is able to deliver such products earlier than it thought originally. What the company also stresses is that the new dual-core chips will have the same platform requirements as cancelled Tejas – this is important for mainboard makers and system integrators, who will not have to change their existing designs and spend additional R&D money.

The real questions about Intel’s vision of the future come when we remember about the technologies the Tejas was expected to bring according to various sources: Vanderpool – a technology that splits personal computer into several virtual parts that work independently and use the same resources of the PC, LaGrande – a universal security feature that protects confidential information on the PC. While there might be more capabilities to enter with the Tejas, the Vanderpool, LaGrande and 64-bit capability that is available on Prescott were the most important to come to life with the Tejas, some unofficial sources noted.

Typically chipmakers consider various roads to go and it looks like Intel’s engineers were thinking really hard about the future of the dual-core NetBurst or dual-core P6 plans. At the end, the company decided to offer microprocessors with the highest possible performance featuring NetBurst architecture, while the P6 will make way into less powerful desktops and high-performance notebooks.

What We Do Know Just Now

Before Intel finally officially unveils its official and precise visions of the future, let us summarize once again what we do know from unofficial sources about the next-generation desktop microprocessors from Intel:

  • Dual-core;
  • NetBurst or P6 architecture;
  • Compatible with the Tejas on the platform level;
  • Uses Quad Pumped Bus;
  • Possibly comes-in LGA775 packaging;
  • Platforms (e.g. Lakeport) to feature dual-channel DDR2 667MHz memory and sport PCI Express interconnections;
  • Platforms to support FB-DIMM.

Previously Intel had never had two desktop architectures going forward – typically all chipmakers try to unify the products. However, with unprecedented market expansion and requirements for extreme performance amid low consumption of power, the company may have to use two different architectures for different clients.

A spokesman for Intel Corporation denied that the source of the story reported based on the claims made by Intel's officials. All the information in the news-story should not be considered as official.

Discussion

Comments currently: 40
Discussion started: 06/10/04 11:06:39 PM
Latest comment: 01/03/07 10:07:56 AM
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1. 
IMO, this cautionary statement means that once again, Intel is unable to deliver the goods. In an effort to string consumers along and prevent sales of AMD chips, Intel pumps out misleading Press Releases to all the media who print them like good little sheep. Then when it all blows up in Intel's face they change their story and continue the deceit.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 06/10/04 11:06:39 PM]
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Either that or they've actually resolved the heat issue with the PressHoT, hmmm I'm more incline to believe the former.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 06/13/04 11:32:28 AM]
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2. 
A 200W processor?
While every one is working, in order to deliver product's that consumes less energy, others seam's not…
If that 200W is only when the processor is working “ok”, since 80% of the time most computers aren't doing “anything”, but if it's all the time, I go for something like centrino or amd even if it's slower!

I think companies that manufactures electric household appliances should stop spading resources on power consuming since it seams people are not caring! At least is what it seams!
It's really important NOW that on the processor box comes some power consuming table if we are keeping like this.
A - Very Low power
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 06/11/04 03:30:52 AM]
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A - Very Low power - Cyrix/Transmeta
B - Low power - Centrino
C - Meddium Power - AMD socked A
D - High Power - AMD64
E - Very High Power - Here is where Intel Prescott stand's ;(
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 06/11/04 03:32:07 AM]
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3. 
Just to keep things clear, the AMD chips are only slightly cooler right now, and folks are noticing that the newer 939 chips are actually quite toasty at higher speeds. AMD isn't really going to do much better going to 90nm so, while I do believe they are making one hell of a chip, I'd back off on comments of how cool they run. Single channel models run a bit cooler still but those are lower performance too.

I have a feeling that both companies will try to deliver on dual core chips, and both will be putting out a lot of heat, serious heat too. And until I see for myself what AMD does at 90nm, which by the way they are about a year behind Intel on, I'll reserve my thoughts on how "well" they are doing process wise. Everyone was all upset at how hot the original P4's were too, then the tide changed. I expect this to go much the same way.

As for speed? Single core Prescott's can do in excess of 4.5ghz now with strong cooling, which is usually the signal of where things go when the process matures (read that as 65nm). Intel expects to have 65nm in 2005 vs 2006 for AMD, and 65nm is probably where both of these companies need to get to be able to give high end dual core chips. So while they might both deliver, one is going to deliver a lot later than the other.

Does this mean Intel rules? Not hardly, AMD's 64 series is a screaming set of chips that Intel should be embarrassed they couldn't make first. But making good chips is partly design and partly process skill. We'll have to see later this year and into next how that pans out for both of them. Its certainly getting harder to make smaller and smaller chips...
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 06/11/04 02:14:55 PM]
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