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Intel Corp.’s Pentium 4 processors with Extended Memory 64 Technology begin to emerge for sale in retail and can be purchased by end-users, not computer makers. While the lineup of desktop form-factor EM64T chips can be currently bought only in Japan, eventually such products may become available in other countries as well.

Akiba PC Hotline web-site reports that a number of stores in Tokyo, Japan, sells Intel Pentium 4 processors models 3.20F, 3.40F, 3.60F and 3.80F with EM64T capability enabled. The chips come in black and white retail packaging and are positioned primarily for uniprocessor servers and workstations. The central processing units cost approximately $299, $311, $449 and $755 for 3.20GHz, 3.40GHz, 3.60GHz and 3.80GHz speed-bins respectively.

Intel Pentium 4 processors with EM64T come in LGA775 form-factor and are compatible with mainboards based on i915- and i925-series chipsets.

Intel said in 2004 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 suggested that there would be some of such microprocessors supplied as OEM parts and reaching the channel.

In early 2004 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 and address more than 4GB of memory while maintaining absolute compatibility with today’s 32-bit applications.

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

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