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Intel's Barrett acknowledges Merced late

Samples due sometime. Real soon now acquires new meaning

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The CEO of Intel said at a workstation conference yesterday that real silicon samples of Merced were expected "in the next two months or so". That is a tacit acknowledgement that Intel has had severe problems producing real silicon. It will put huge pressure on the chip giant to ship in Mid-2000, as it has repeatedly promised. Earlier this year, Stephen Smith, who headed up the Merced project, said that samples would arrive by June. Other Intel representatives said that samples would arrive by mid-year. Samples need to be out with Intel's customers early in order for them to thoroughly test the part, which is designed for high end usage, and therefore needs to be just right. Mid-year, in our reckoning, is June, or possibly July. The caveat "or so" is unlikely to reassure outsiders that Intel is on track with its Merced programme, although our information is that the company will go hell for leather to show a Merced processor working at the next Intel Developer Forum in September. ® RegisterFact Szechuan Publishing has now compiled the 300,000 Intel Year Book, just on time.

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