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Merced samples slip from June

But Intel says it never said June anyway

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In a little noted remark at Compaq's Innovate conference in Houston last week, Intel CEO Craig Barrett acknowledged some slippage in shipping samples of Merced. Intel has said all through this year and last that Merced samples will ship in June, but in a worst case scenario for the chip giant, "three or four months" could mean the industry won't see samples until August. Barrett said: "Just a comment about Merced. It's in its final stages of design. We're going to see samples in the next three to four months. We have seven OSs running and booting on the simulator as we talk today. It's going to have very competitive TPMC benchmarks, floating point capability and encryption performance." The statement will foster reports from a number of sources that Intel is slipping because of a lack of trained engineers and infighting between engineers at different design centres. And we also reported that Compaq engineers had been taken off the Merced project, earlier this year, with that information coming from an insider at the company. An Intel representative said: "We are on-track for 'mid 99' samples - and have not committed a specific month, engagements with our customers is an ongoing program including sample delivery through to product delivery." ® See also Compaq Merced designers flee coop Merced project in utter disarray Our exclusive pix of Merced Compaq to snub Intel at Innovate Deep schisms mar Compaq's 64-bit plans Merced seeks 70 babes in the wood

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