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Intel Corp. recently unveiled a new schedule concerning commercial release of dual-core NetBurst-based processors with new core revision. As a result of the change, the top-of-the-line chip will not get a new stepping, whereas the least powerful processor will face conversion much later than originally indicated.

In mid-July Intel notified its clients that Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 and Intel Pentium D processors 840, 830, 820 would undergo a number of changes for the A0 to the B0 core processor stepping change, including CPUID change from F44 to F47. The B0 stepping was claimed to be pin compatible with A0, but new S-Specs were promised to be introduced for converting products.

“This product change notification (PCN) revision is being published to adjust the Intel Pentium D Processor 2.80GHz ready-to-receive date from October 21, 2005 to March 03, 2006 and to withdraw/cancel the A0 to B0 conversion of the Intel Pentium processor Extreme Edition 840,” Intel said.

The company explained that “due to healthier than expected production yields” of the Pentium Extreme Edition component, Intel had decided to keep the Intel Pentium processor Extreme Edition 840 chip on the A0 stepping through End-of-Life. This may mean that Intel has enough chips to satisfy the demand for its most powerful dual-core microprocessor going forward.

Intel does not note any changes it will perform to the processors originally code-named Smithfield, but advises its customers to refer to electrical, mechanical, and thermal specifications (EMTS) of the new processors for specifications update, which may indicate that electrical and thermal specifications of the B0 chips may be at least slightly different compared to A0 central processing units (CPUs). Furthermore, the chipmaker advices its clients to qualify the new processors and verify that major operating systems continue to boot and run confidence tests.

First samples of the updated chips were expected to be released on August 5, 2005.

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