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While everybody’s eyes are on the dual-core plans of Intel Corp., the company is preparing to unveil its new Intel Pentium 4 and Intel Xeon processors with 2MB L2 cache, which is expected to provide a performance boost for the chips over current-generation offerings.

According to various reports over the Internet with some of them citing Intel's officials, the world's largest chipmaker will unveil its new processors for servers and desktops capable of executing both 32-bit and 64-bit code already in February, within the next two weeks. The new Intel Pentium 4 and Intel Xeon processors will not receive any tangible clock-speed boosts and will still be clocked below 4.0GHz, but will get 2MB level-two cache, which is likely to allow the chips to compute faster than predecessors that have 1MB L2 cache.

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 may offer customers some additional useful functionality, while EIST is designed to compensate extensive heat-dissipation of Intel Pentium 4 chips at 90nm process technology.

Besides Intel Pentium 4 processors 600-series Intel Corp. is also expected to release its Intel Xeon processors for 2-way servers and workstations that will also have EM64T, EIST and EDB capabilities in addition to 2MB cache size. Previously such chips were code-named Irwindale. Server applications typically benefit significantly from larger cache sizes.

In future Intel is expected to release its Intel Xeon MP processors for multiprocessor apps with enlarged caches, EM64T, EIST and EDB capabilities and some other enhancements.

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