Intel's boxed desktop roadmap revealed
Some new codenames to get your head round
As we've noted here many times before, Intel has several sets of roadmaps -- those for public consumption, those addressed to its partners and system builders, and those really secret ones that only its primary OEMs, such as the Dull Corporation, get. If you can manage to look at several sets of these together, it's possible to piece out the firm's strategy a little better, although we've a suspicion there's a big team of roadmap draughtspeople somewhere in the world who can tear'em'up and start all over again at a moment's whim. One roadmap we've recently seen, and which was posted on the Intel channel site on an NDA (non disclosure agreement) area not long ago, is headed the Boxed Desktop Processor Roadmap. Intel sells trays of its microprocessors to its Direct Ship OEM customer, but also pushes branded microprocessors, completely with packaging that's a funky green colour, through its distributors and hence to smaller system builders. Remember that the roadmap builders can tear up and throw away these diagrams at a moment's notice. On this block diagram, Intel divides the horizontal axis into quarters one, two and three of this year, while the vertical axis has a total of seven categories based on the system price (without monitor). These seven categories Intel subdivides into three broad categories, each with underlying chipset support. Top End Professional is for systems greater than $2,000. In Q1, that segment is occupied by Pentium IIIs at speeds of 733, 700, 750, 800 and 866MHz. In Q2, it is occupied by the 866, and the 850 Pentium IIIs, with the 933MHz coming in at the end of the quarter. And in Q3, that segment is occupied with the 933MHz Pentium III, with the 1GHz processor (presumably a Coppermine rather than a Willamette design) set to enter at the end of that quarter. The next category is Mainstream 3 ($1,500 to $2,000). In Q1, that space is occupied by the 733 and 700 Pentium III's but midway through with the 750MHz (with 100MHz FSB) making an appearance. In Q2, the 800MHz Pentium III hogs the position, while in Q3, the 866, 850 and 1GHz Pentium IIIs are the favoured Intel flavours for boxed systems. For motherboards, the SE440 BX-2 will last well into the middle of quarter three, according to diagram, although its importance is disappearing, Intel hopes, because of the rise of VC820 and CC820 mobos, to be replaced in quarter three by the D820AP and a design codenamed Easton. Middle Range Two levels of system cost sans monitor in these blocks. Mainstream 2 ($1,200 to $1,500) and Mainstream 1 ($1,000 to $1,2000). In Mainstream 2, Q1 is dominated by the 666MHz and 650MHz Coppermines, in Q2 by 750 and 733MHz Pentium IIIs and in Q3 by the 800MHz Coppermine Pentium III. Mainstream 1 first quarter is dominated by the Pentium III 600, in quarter two Intel thinks it will be the 700MHz and 666MHz Pentium III, and in Q3 the 750 and 733MHz Pentium III. Again, the SE440 BX-2, together with the CC820, rules the roost until the middle of Q2, fading out at the beginning of Q3. Intel anticipates, in this diagram, that the CA810e will do the same. In Q3, the VC820 should be used for these two sectors, while we will also see the arrival of the D820P, the Easton, and (a new one on us) Stornaway. Low End This is Intel's Value sector which it divides into three parts. Value 3 is $900-$999, Value 2 is $799-$900 and Value 1 is less than $799. Again -- these are system prices without monitors, not chip prices. For Value 3, in Q1, the 533MHz Celeron, and towards the end of the period the chickenzilla 600 and the 566MHz Celerons rule the roost. In Q2, the 666MHz and the 633MHz Celerons dominate, with a 700MHz Celeron appearing towards the end of the period, while in Q3 there is a 7XXMHz Celeron. For Value 2, and in Q1, the 500MHz occupies most of the sweet spot, with the 533MHz arriving at the end of the quarter; in the second quarter that space is hogged by the 600MHz and 566MHz Celerons, and in Q3 the 666MHz and the 633MHz Celerons have sway, with a 677MHz Timna with integrated MC and graphics arriving at the end of Q3. For Value 1 -- that is systems without monitors costing less than $799 -- the 466MHz Celeron will predominate in Q1, with the 500MHz coming in at the end of the quarter. In the second quarter, that space will be occupied by the 533MHz Celeron, while in Q3, Intel wants to see 600MHz and 566MHz Celerons in this space, with a 600MHz Timna there at the end of Q3. Intel appears to think that its CA810e and the CA810 will rule the value roost right through the three quarters, but with a little bit of D820AP and Stornaway thrown in at the end. Summary It's unclear to what extent these plans will change throughout the year, as Intel is force majeure in the shape of AMD and possibly Via affects its plans. But, we re-iterate, this boxed desktop roadmap was presented to Intel's distie and dealer partners very recently -- so that's what they're being told at present. ® See also Intel's server, desktop mobile roadmap Y2k
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