'Prescott' will never exceed 100W of power dissipation, Intel said today, in a bid to keep the heated debate over the as-yet-unlaunched Pentium processor's thermal characteristics from bubbling over.
"The Prescott thermal envelope will be between 90W and 100W," a spokesman told The Register. "This [will apply] throughout the entire life of the product, not just for the launch."
That marks the first time the company has come clean and put a precise figure - well, a pair of figures - on the next-generation processor's heat-generating potential.
Japanese web site PC Watch set light to Prescott's thermals during the summer when it claimed internal Intel documents it had seen said the chip operated at 100W - 15W more than today's top-end Pentium 4 processor.
Since then, some sites have even claimed that the chip will consume up to 110W and even 120W.
During this time, Intel has steadfastly refused to comment on the specifics of Prescott's thermal characteristics ahead of the chip's official launch, believed to be set for early December - though some reports suggest it has been put back to a January/February 2004 timeframe, after the part has begun shipping to customers.
At Intel Developer Forum, company CTO Pat Gelsinger said that 100W was OK for a desktop computer. While he wasn't referring to Prescott directly, his words did seem to confirm the suggestion than Prescott would run rather hotter than its predecessors.
And now it's official: Prescott will run at 90-100W. The statement confirms PC Watch's original claim.
Earlier this year, Intel roadmaps had the part running with a power consumption closer to the current P4. However, the figure changed over the summer, as spotted by PC Watch.
Speaking during a conference call after the announcement of the chip giant's Q3 financial results, Intel President Paul Otellini this week said: "We ended up changing the thermal target for Prescott." Albeit only "slightly". ®