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Intel Corp.’s retail partners from Tokyo, Japan, have started to demonstrate boxes with special flavours of Intel Pentium 4 processors featuring 64-bit capability. The move may mean intention to supply such products into retail channel, which does not correspond to Intel’s plans.

A report over Akiba 2 Go tells about a number of retailers who were demonstrating Intel Pentium 4 processors in "almost" retail boxes during the weekend. Processors’ packaging was black and white, while typically Intel’s product boxes are made according to registered colours for Intel’s trademarks, such as Intel Pentium 4 or Intel Xeon.


Intel Pentium 4 3.60F microprocessor

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, Potomac and other processors to execute specially-written 64-bit code while maintaining absolute compatibility with today’s 32-bit applications.

Intel said it would ship Pentium 4 “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 were said to 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.

Representatives for Intel did not comment on the news-story.

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