Intel stealth-shipping Coppermine in Dixon guise?
Evidence emerges that serial number "bug" in PII could be a feature
The reader who gave us our exclusive on serial numbers within Pentium II/mobiles with Dixon cores, has come to the conclusion Intel is stealth-shipping Coppermine early. (Previous stories: Dixon Intel mobile PIIs have serial numbers -- it's a bug and Unique ID codes on mobile PIIs no accident.) Pierre Chassaing, whose Web site is here, said: "I still have a few ideas about this erratum, as Intel puts it. "The Dixon core is quite different from the Pentium II/III line in that it incorporates the L2 cache on chip. Yet there is Coppermine, supposed to be out mid-1999, which is supposed to have an integrated L2 cache too and PIII features. "So what do we have: A PII core with 256KB integrated L2 cache, some of them with a PIII feature normally disabled, and a PII core with 256KB integrated L2 cache with all the PII features. "There are obviously very strong similarities between these two chips. My guess is that Intel has simply already started making Coppermine, but is disabling the SIMD and PSN (personal serial number). "Why? Just to keep the 'top of the line' on the desktop and maybe because it still doesn't have the capacity to manufacture enough Coppermine as the desktop market is much bigger than the laptop market. "Not that disabling a feature in a processor is easy (they did for the 486SX which was a 486DX with a disabled FPU), and cheaper than making two different cores. "I would not be surprised if the Dixon also had the SIMD instructions too, even if they are disabled." ®