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Intel roadmap reveals plans up to Y2K

Wide-ranging plans include 1.2GHz IA-32 processor

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A year ago From The Register No. 70, March 1998 More details have emerged about Intel’s future roadmap, taking the plans up to the last quarter of 1999. According to sources very close to Intel’s plans, Intel will introduce its 450NX chipset for servers, using Slot 2 architecture in June. Details include support for four processors, 8GB of memory but without AGP (advanced graphics processor) support. It will support four way interleaved memory, HotPlug PCI and up to 2MB of level two cache. In the same time period, Intel will release prices for its Slot 2 architecture. This will be $4,500 for a processor with 2MB of Level 2 cache, and $2,850 for 1MB cache, with a low end, 512K version selling for around the $1,400 mark. Again in June, Intel will announce its so-called Nightshade project. This is a reference design for a Slot 2 server motherboard with twin Deschutes support, using the 440BX chip set. August this year will be noticeable for the departure of the ceramic Pentium MMX processor, according to the source, barely a year and a half after it was first launched. Things then go quiet until Q3 this year, when Intel will reveal its Marlinspike project. This is an AT based Slot 2 reference design for motherboards, using the 440GX chipset which will support up to 2GB of memory in four DIMM configurations. Intel will release a PII/450MHz processor which supports the 100MHz bus for both Slot 1 and Slot 2 configurations. That is expected to be priced at around the $750/1000 mark. In Q4, as previously reported here, Intel will introduce the second of its Celeron processors, codenamed Mendocino, which will run at 300MHz and have 128K of Level 2 cache integrated on the unit. Q4 will be a busy period for Intel. It will introduce the second rev of its i740 "Auburn" chip, codenamed Portola. Any PC98 compliant systems will lose ISA slots. Again, in the same quarter, Intel is expected to announce an 8-way motherboard using the 450NX chipset and codenamed Saber. This uses Corollary’s Profusion chip. Intel took over Corollary. At the back end of this year, it will introduce a 66MHz 64-bit PCI bus, using an upgraded 450NX chipset. Intel is also expected to announce a portable Pentium MMX processor with a revised form factor and running at less than four watts. This mobile innovation will be the precursor to a project called Geyserville, slated for the first half of 1999 and intended to make even thinner notebooks possible. The first half of 1999 will also make Device Bay a reality. It is expected to come in three configurations aimed at different markets like desktops and notebooks and will eventually supersede the ISA and IDE standards. It will also support FireWire. Katmai, the processor with additional MMX instructions, is now projected for the second half of 1999. It will start at clock speeds of 450MHz, rising to 533MHz, initially appearing in a .25 micron flavour but later moving to .18 microns. Initial pricing suggests a $700/1000 level. Mintel hopes to speed this processor to around 750MHz by the millenium. Intel’s Camino project will be based on the 440BX chipset, and adds a south bridge PIIX6 which will also support 66MHz Ultra DMAS IDE. It will accept dual Katmai chip cartridges, come with AGP 4x support and use Direct RamBUS memory running at around 800MHz. That, again, is slated for the second half of next year. The chip giant will then announce its Colfax project, a 440BX notebook motherboard with AGP, FireWire and RDRAM. The last stage in Intel’s ambitious PII plans, the source said, is the Williamette project for the end of 1999. This will use a .18 micron process which will then be shrunk to .13 microns and anticipated speed advantage of up to 50 per cent. Clock speeds will go from 800MHz to 1.2GHz, and it is expected to include new bus designs. The source said this could be the last of the IA-32 architectures as Intel phases in IA-64 support. It will bridge the last years of this century and the first few years of the next decade. Intel always refuses to comment on unannounced products. ®

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