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Intel to roll out 840 chipset in summer

The 820, of course, is late

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While Intel blunders around in the midrange market trying to decide whether to go for PC133 SDRAM on the creaky old BX platform or to hang on hoping Camino will show up sooner rather than later with its support for direct RAMbus memory, the workstation guys are quietly getting on with the job of bringing the 820's big brother to market sometime in late summer. The i840 will come in two flavours – the standard dual processor variant for Pentium III or PIII Xeon and the high-end, four-way i840-QP for PIII Xeon alone. Intel has two 840 motherboards in the pipeline – the low end Outrigger and the all-singing, all-dancing Brigantine, both scheduled for launch in mid Q3. Brigantine will feature up to 2GB of RAM, AGP 4X / AGP Pro, PCI 32/33 and Ultra 2 SCSI. Brigantine adds support for up to 4Gb RAM, PCI 64/66 and Ultra 3 SCSI. Both boards will be sampling in a matter of weeks. By the time the 840 appears, both the Pentium III and Pentium III Xeon processors will have been enhanced to support the 133 MHz system bus and will be the proud owners of 256K on-die L2 cache. The new chipset will support AGP4X, AGP Pro, both RDRAM and SDRAM memory, dual PCI buses (32/33 and 64/66), and offer 3.2Gb memory bandwidth. Intel is now engaged in the delicate task of persuading OEMs and ISVs to get platforms based on the 840 chipset ready for Q3'99 introduction and, perhaps more critically, to optimise applications for Streaming SIMD Extensions and dual processors. At the same time, Chipzilla is working with graphics card vendors to ensure a ready supply of AGP 4X and AGP Pro graphics cards and drivers at the i840 launch. ®

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