Intel Pentium D to Succeed Intel Pentium 4

Intel Drops “4” from the Name of Future Chips

by Anton Shilov
03/01/2005 | 11:56 PM

Intel Corp. announced at the Intel Developer Forum Spring 2005 that the company’s forthcoming dual-core desktop processors will not be branded as Intel Pentium 4, as previously suggested by media and analysts, but will be dubbed either as Intel Pentium D or Intel Pentium Extreme Edition chips depending on their positioning.


Withdrawing from the famous “Pentium 4” brand-name should emphasize the Pentium D is somewhat different from Intel’s well-known desktop central processing units (CPUs). Having two processing engines instead of one Intel Pentium D processors will be capable of running many applications at the same time more efficiently than the Pentium 4, but the latter is likely to have advantage over the former in single-threaded apps because of higher clock-speeds, as the first dual-core microprocessors from Intel Corp. will work at 2.80 – 3.20GHz speeds, much lower compared to 3.80GHz of single-core processors.

Intel’s mainstream dual-core chips for desktops originally code-named Smithfield were projected to be branded as Intel Pentium 4 processors 800-series, but now the chips will be called as Pentium D 800-series. Initial Intel Pentium 800-series central processing units are likely to use 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus, integrate 2MB (1MB per core) L2 cache and utilize LGA775 form-factor. 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 206 square millimeters.

Intel is expected to disable the Hyper-Threading technology on its mainstream dual-core desktop chips, leaving the capability to process up to four threads simultaneously for its Pentium Extreme Edition chips that will feature two cores and will also use 1066MHz Quad Pumped Bus to enhance speed of multimedia applications.

All desktop dual-core chips are likely to sport EM64T, Virtualization, XD bit as well as Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technologies.

Intel’s dual-core desktop products are projected to have TDP of around 130W, while currently available infrastructure is designed to support processors with thermal design power of up to 115W, which will not allow the dual-core Intel Pentium D chips to operate with the vast majority of today’s mainboards, according to some makers. While some very advanced mainboards may support the Pentium D processors, such support is unlikely to be official.

Intel’s i945- and i955X-series core-logic products are expected to bring certain performance enhancements for the forthcoming platforms based on single-core or dual-core microprocessors, such as support for DDR2 667MHz memory. It is expected that Intel’s dual-core desktop products will be launched along with i945- and i955X-series chipsets.

By bringing its dual-core desktop chips to the market a quarter earlier than expected the chip giant Intel Corp. receives a competitive advantage over the arch-rival Advanced Micro Devices, who is expected to bring out its dual-core desktop products only in the second half of 2005. Some sources reported that Intel’s dual-core products are claimed to be relatively affordable: $241, $316 or $530 – depending on the speed-bin and model – for 820 (2.80GHz), 830 (3.00GHz) or 840 (3.20GHz) chips respectively. Pricing of dual-core Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processors is yet unclear. Typically Intel asks system designers to pay $999 for the top-of-the-range Extreme Edition chip.

Some details located in the news-story come from unofficial sources and were not confirmed by Intel Corp.