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Intel Corp., the world’s largest producer of computer chips, Monday started to offer its clients Intel Pentium 4 processor with 64-bit extension technology known as EM64T.

Intel Gets 64-bit Desktop Parts

As expected, the new 64-bit capable product line contains Pentium 4 at 3.20GHz, 3.40GHz and 3.60GHz priced at $278, $417 and $637 respectively. The costs of the Pentium 4 chips with Extended Memory 64 Technology will equals to processors with no such capability at the same core-clock. To distinguish between chips with and without EM64T, Intel names the 64-bit capable chips as 3.20F, 3.40F and 3.60F.

Sources close to the company said that that the company would slash the pricing of its 3.40GHz and 3.60GHz chips to $278 and $417 on August 22, 2004.

The new chips are aimed at OEMs and compatible with i925X core-logic set. Additionally, the new 64-bit processors are packed into FCLGA775 packaging, not LGA775 packaging as ordinary Intel Pentium 4 processors.

64-bit Not for Everyone?

Earlier this year Intel unveiled its Extended Memory 64 Technology also known under 64-bit Extension Technology or IA32e that let Intel’s Prescott, Nocona and Potomac processors to execute specially-written 64-bit code while maintaining absolute compatibility with today’s 32-bit applications. Nocona is code-name for Intel’s upcoming Xeon processors for 2-way servers and workstations launching in Q2 2004; Potomac is the name of the core that enables next-generation Xeon MP chips unveiling in the Q1 2005; Prescott is the core that powers current Pentium 4 E processors and will power special chips for uni-processor servers and workstations with 64-bit capability. Previously it was believed that all Prescott processors in LGA775 packaging, such as Intel Pentium 4 E, would sport EM64T, but Intel denied such claim.

Intel said it would ship Prescott processors with 64-bit capability for 1P applications only to system integrators requesting such microprocessors for their servers and workstations. Although all Prescott CPUs, including Intel Pentium 4 and Celeron, are 64-bit from micro-architectural standpoint, processors supplying for retail channels as well as for typical desktops will have their 64-bit capability disabled. However, some sources doubt that it will be absolutely impossible for end-users and hardware enthusiasts to get Intel’s 64-bit Pentium 4 chips. They suggest that there will be some of such microprocessors supplied as OEM parts and reaching the channel.

Leading workstation makers, such as HP, already offer PCs with Intel's 64-bit Pentium 4 chips installed with Linux operating system installed.

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