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Presently available mainboards featuring Socket T are unlikely to be able to work with Intel’s forthcoming dual-core microprocessors due to some design tweaks required for support of the chips Intel calls Smithfield.

“Currently our engineers think that only i945/955X[-based] mainboards will support Intel Pentium 4 800-series central processing units,” a high-ranking source from a large mainboard maker said.

Intel’s dual-core chips for desktops originally code-named Smithfield are projected to be branded as Intel Pentium 4 processors 800-series, some sources suggest. Such products will have TDP of around 130W, while currently available infrastructure is designed to support processors with thermal design power of up to 115W. While some very advanced mainboards may support the Pentium 4 processors 800-series, such support is unlikely to be official. Furthermore, Intel’s i945- and i955X-series core-logic products are expected to bring certain performance enhancements, such as support for DDR2 667MHz memory.

Intel Pentium 4 800-series dual-core microprocessors for desktops from Intel Corp. that are projected to emerge in the third quarter, 2005, will run at 2.80GHz, 3.00GHz and 3.20GHz, integrate 2MB of cache, utilize 800MHz processor system bus and feature LGA775 form-factor, according to certain reports. The dual-core desktop processor internally called Smithfield will be made using 90nm process technology, each processing engine will use the same architecture with the current Pentium 4 “Prescott” chip, however, the new central processing unit will feature “arbitration logic that will balance bus transactions between the two CPUs”. Smithfield’s die size is about 215 square millimeters.

For some reason Intel has reportedly decided to disable the Hyper-Threading technology with its dual-core desktop chips. This will allow the processors to handle two threads independently more efficiently than current chips do, however, if the chips feature HT tech, they would be able to handle up to four threads of code. The Smithfield will sport EM64T, Virtualization, XD bit as well as Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technologies.

Intel Corp.’s dual-core chips will be branded as 820, 830 and 840. The main difference between these three chips is clock-speed: the 820 runs at 2.8GHz, the 830 operates at 3.00GHz and the 840 functions 3.20GHz.

Intel's officials did not comment on the news-story.

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