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Intel Corp. said Thursday it decided to scrap plans to release the Pentium 4 processor clocked at 4.00GHz, continuing the sequence of product delays, cancellations and major changes of the roadmap. The reasons for the move were decision to focus on some other ways of improving performance and possible inability to supply enough high-speed Intel Pentium 4 chips.

4.0GHz Plans Scrapped, Intel Focuses on ‘Ts’

Intel initially intended to launch its Intel Pentium 4 chip at 4.0GHz clock-speed in the fourth quarter of 2004, which was a highly-advertised and discussed introduction. Then, in Summer 2004 the company said it changed its plans and will release the 4GHz microprocessor in volume only in the first quarter 2005 citing volume, quality and reliability questions. Now, the company says it won’t launch the 4.0GHz Pentium 4 chip on the Prescott core, the latest architecture that powers Intel’s desktop chips, at all.

“We have begun providing direction to our customers on our platform-centric plans that reflect two clear priorities: multi-core products along with key silicon and platform technologies ranging from larger cache products to a family of user-centric technologies we call ‘the Ts’,” Intel’s spokesman George Alfs told X-bit labs.

Intel’s to date known major user-centric technologies are Vanderpool, a virtualization technology, La Grande, a security feature, EM64T, a 64-bit capability for x86 chips, Intel Active Management Technology, a program aimed to decrease cost of PC ownership.

“We are investing heavily in the programs, tools and enabling and consulting services necessary to enable all of these features worldwide. With energy focused on these two priorities, we have aligned resources across our product lines to strengthen our future plans and intensify our focus on quality, consistency and volume delivery,” Mr. Alfs added.

But Higher Performance Still Ahead

In addition to improvements in feature-set of future microprocessor Intel is also going to consistently improve performance of central processing units using a variety of methods, such as increase in cache sizes.

“Part of this effort includes a larger 2MB cache product that will deliver roughly the same and in some cases greater performance at lower frequencies versus our previously planned Prescott 4.0GHz chip. As a result, we will not bring the Intel Pentium 4 “Prescott” 4.0GHz offering to market,” the Intel’s official explained.

According to unofficial information, Intel will bring “Extreme Edition” desktop processors with 1066MHz Quad Pumped Bus and 2MB L3 or L2 cache and 3.46GHz clock-speed later during the year. Besides, Intel is likely to offer Intel Pentium 4 processors with 2MB L2 cache not only at premium price-point, but also to high-end and performance mainstream customers in Q1 2005. The chips will be clocked at 3.20GHz, 3.40GHz, 3.60GHz and 3.80GHz and will be intended for infrastructure supporting 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus and TDP of up to 115W. Like all Intel’s latest central processing units, the new chips code-named Prescott 2M will be branded with model numbers, e.g., Pentium 4 640, Pentium 4 650, Pentium 4 660 and Pentium 4 670.

Later during 2005 Intel will also release dual-core processors for desktops, mobiles and servers.

“A mix of performance and features” – The Main Trend for Intel

While the performance is an indivisible part of computing platforms, the main guideline for Intel Corp., the world’s largest maker of microprocessors and chipsets, is a combination of speed and capabilities of computing platforms.

“[The focus is on] a mix of performance and features. Sometimes the benefits will be more along the lines of ease of use, connectivity, responsiveness, bandwidth, security, etc. Features that really help users with everyday computing and hopefully make computers easier to use. Also we will continue to work with the software community on threading, something we have started with Hyper-Threading technology and that dual-core will be able to take advantage of,” says Intel Corp.’s official.

Intel Corp. has been for some time offering its microprocessors in conjunction with core-logic and network connectivity, which allowed the company to bring a fully-integrated solution to its customers, providing some additional reliability and ease of use to individuals and enterprises, unlike the arch-rival AMD, who focuses on microprocessors and relies on chipset and network solutions from third-party companies, such as NVIDIA Corp. and VIA Technologies.

“The steps continue the “platformization” of Intel that Paul Otellini first outlined three years ago and described most recently at IDF last month. We have not discussed future MHz speeds for later unannounced products,” Intel stated, refusing to comment directly on the possibility of future processors clock-speed rally.

Discussion

Comments currently: 22
Discussion started: 10/14/04 02:19:05 PM
Latest comment: 08/30/06 07:55:41 PM

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1. 
Intel is in that position they're in now because they believed speed was the answer. Management took over Engineering...And Management seriously f**ked up.

This is what happens when you let Management take the lead...Instead of Engineering! That's a big lesson to learn Intel!

Its unsurprising that the P4 4Ghz is canned. All signs for the past year has showed us they've hit a big ass brick wall with the P4 architecture.

Time to dump it and use Pentium-M. They've already showed us the technical diagram (Are the called Lithograph picts?), of a dual-core Pentium-M ("Yonah")...If there's Intel's last hope, that's it. Its the only core they have that can compete clock for clock (close enough) to the A64/Opteron and do it with less heat under 32bit. (In pure 64bit, Itanium II whips ass...Don't believe me? Ask about NASA's Itanium II based cluster for weather simulation).

I doubt AMD will bring anything faster than 2.8Ghz in the near future. And there's less likelyhood now with the canned P4 4Ghz.


And Anemone, that's the most uninformed prediction I've heard to date.

Just compare the R&D capacity of Intel and AMD.

AMD has to do alot with alot less (they've done well with the K8, and with IBM's help in 90nm and SOI). Intel can crankout several different designs simultaneously. (as demonstrated by Pentium-M, P4 and Itanium).

They could be working on several more designs that your "bold prediction" seriously fails to address.

They will never copy anything AMD unless their customers put them in that position. And that's only one case...EMT64/AMD64, because Dell, one of Intel's biggest customer needed an Intel equivalent.

And even then Intel has yet to release any mainstream CPU with EMT64. (Because according to them "there isn't a need for it yet". Yeah right...Its more like "We can f**k up AMD64 scheme by delaying its acceptance as long as possible".)

The more they delay EMT64/AMD64 progression, the more "waste of time" it feels. (It doesn't help when MS is ever delaying the AMD64/EMT64 compatible Windows!)

And BTW, Anemone, how come AMD hasn't increased speeds with the newer 90nm CPUs? What's with this varying of memory channels and cache size bullshit with several speed ratings? What happened?

Here's my prediction.

AMD will never go faster than 2.8Ghz. Simply because the competition isn't going further than 3.8Ghz. (No one can forget AMD's "me too" attitude...Their pricing premium of their K8 line as demonstrated this).

Both AMD and Intel's dual-core will be slower than the regular single core desktops in terms of speed. (I wonder how AMD is gonna use their rating system then).

Multithreaded apps that fully utilise multiple cores or processors are a bitch to write, so software is gonna be a few years behind. I predict we won't see much benefit of dual-core until 2 to 3 yrs later, if we're lucky.
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