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Makers of mainboards, systems and other computer hardware equipment are reportedly testing the new Intel Corp.’s Pentium 4 processors with enhanced performance and functionality, according to various sources in Taiwan.

Intel Pentium 4 processors series 600 are expected to be positioned for high-end and performance-mainstream market segments in Q1 2005. The new microprocessors will be based on the Prescott 2M core that brings 2MB L2 cache, Intel EM64T, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) as well as Execute Disable Bit (EDB) capability. 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. 

According to certain market sources, Intel’s Pentium 4 processors 600-series are unlikely to offer much higher performance compared to today’s Intel Pentium 4 processors 500-series with similar core speeds. However, 64-bit and EDB capabilities are likely to offer customers some additional useful functionality, while EIST is designed to compensate extensive heat-dissipation of Intel Pentium 4 chips at 90nm process technology.

High-end Intel Pentium 4 processors 6xx are to fill the gap of the discontinued Intel Pentium 4 processor 4.00GHz. The chips are currently projected to be introduced in late February. It is unclear, when Intel Corp. starts to ship the new products for revenue.

Intel initially intended to launch its Intel Pentium 4 chip at 4.00GHz 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. In Fall 2004, the company said it would not 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 at that time.

“[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,” said Intel Corp.’s official.

Intel Corp.’s officials did not comment on the current news-story.

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