Intel execs outline Y2K chip futures

No Willamette until second half of next year


We weren't there because it was midnight UK time and we were practising our Halloween tactics, but thanks to the power of the Wibbly Wobbly Web we were able to catch up with what the Intel luminaries (can employees of a Satan be luminaries?, ed) had to say at an executive briefing yesterday. We did this courtesy of Intel's Web site, where there's a Webcast. Unless you've got a high powered machine and a fast link, you'll be very frustrated by this process. The most interesting slide Intel showed, as it happened, was the last in Craig Barrett's presentation, which presented some details of Intel's future roadmap and scotched the Willamette processor by the end of 1999 canard. The slide showed Intel producing a Willamette at a greater speed than 1GHz in the second half of next year; along with that, there will be Pentium IIIs at speeds greater than 800MHz. Timna, Intel's system on a chip processor, will be positioned as a "value desktop" chip in the same time period, along with 600MHz Celerons. In the first half of 2000, the Celeron 500MHz will move into the value desktop space (isn't it already there?), while the mainstream desktop space will be a 800MHz Pentium III, presumably in its Coppermine recension. A similar Xeon at 800MHz will sit in the server space. The Itanic, formerly known as Merced, is positioned as being in the high end server space in the second half of next year. Intel said the Itanic is already running Oracle 8, Apache IIs and other applications. Sean Maloney, a senior VP at Intel, said the Taiwanese earthquake had little effect on the company, aside from graphics chip. But even here, current stock would be enough to soak up any problems. There was an "adequate" supply of motherboards, although supply is tight. This is the problem with the BX/ZX chipset which Intel has had since June. Concerns about the so-called millennium bug had not affected Intel shipments. Paul Otellini's slides were fairly interesting. Intel confirmed that there will be IA-32 Xeons with up to 2Mb of on-die cache, as already revealed here. The company said little about the Caminogate i820 fiasco, other than to point out it was still part of its plans. But it did say that by Q4 of next year the .18 micron process it is currently producing will enable a 20 per cent reduction in the price of Celerons and a 50 per cent reduction in the price of desktop processors. It showed a slide confirming that its flip chip S370 packaging would kill SECC2 (Slot 1), by the end of next year, and that the .18 micron process would supersede the current .25 micron process in the same period of time. Nearly 100 per cent of Intel processors will be .18 micron by the end of next year. It claimed it was regaining market share in the US retail market. Earlier this year, rival AMD took a chunk out of this sector. ®


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