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Number of pins now the issue

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Chip giant Intel's strategy on socketing future versions of its processors now seems to be taking shape. But the shape is protean. We reported Intel's move to the socket model two days ago and earlier this year. Now, according to Japanese wires, Intel is attempting to use its 370-socket for the Pentium III, with one of the packages operating at 600MHz, with 100MHz front side and bus and including 128K cache. Some uninitiated into the black arts of Intel marketing may wonder why this esoteric matter of pins and slots and sockets matters. The reason is upgradeability of both end user machines. It is also much to do with future form factors of PCs. Paul Otellini, a senior VP at Intel, told The Register earlier this year that while the Pentium III will move to a socketed design, it would not be Socket 370. This conflicts with our information. Later this year, we know, Intel will introduce a pin package using Coppermine technology at 256K cache. According to the wire reports, the long awaited Willamette technology will come with 423 pins, and Foster will have 603 pins. This is all a little confusing. Celeron Slot Ones, as reported here earlier, are to disappear and very soon now, while there is no doubt, according to our sources, that Slot One will also disappear for Pentium IIIs. Meanwhile, sources close to Intel said that there will not now be an iteration of the BX chipset supporting PC-133. While the company had toyed with the idea, it cannot support the speeds. It is betting its bottom dollar on Rambus DRDRAM technology. We will have more information on this slottish subject later in the day. ®

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