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Intel 0.18 micron Celerons to tip up next week

Can these parts with multimedia extensions be Athlon killers?

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Intel is now expected to roll out high-end Celeron processors next week based on the Coppermine Pentium III core and including Screaming Sindie, multimedia extensions. We revealed the existence of these processors earlier on this year. But, like Celerons based on Pentium II technology, the cache on the processors is expected to be halved, as Intel starts to position the products against AMD Athlon offerings. AMD is taking extremely aggressive price action in the second quarter, according to sources close to the firm. But a representative at the company said no price cuts were expected in the near future. The first Celerons to appear will be 600MHz and 566MHz units, and other microprocessors based on the same technology are expected to follow shortly in April. No pricing details are available as yet for the parts to launch next week. For quite a long period of time over the last 18 months, savvy end users, rather than paying through the nose for Pentium IIs, preferred to buy the extremely cheap Celerons, which, even though they only had 128KB cache, showed little performance loss over their far more expensive 512KB counterparts. (As a reader points out, thank you, the small speed difference was due to the fact that the Pentium's 512KB cache ran at half the clockspeed of the Celeron's 128KB cache. He said he is looking forward to a whole new era of overclocking...) The same may well be true for the Celeron/Coppermine combination, and although Intel has a sound track record in positioning its microprocessors in the low-end market and beating down AMD prices, this time the fight is somewhat different. There is also a question mark over whether Intel will have similar availability problems with Celerons as it did, and still does, with Pentium IIIs using Coppermine .18µ process technology. The company is expected to follow the introduction of the two Celerons next week with two further chips at 633MHz and 666MHz, echoing its Pentium III strategy. Intel's Celeron roadmap, in any case, will change later this year when it positions its system-on-a-chip - Timna option - into the low end market. The profusion of different processors during the first quarter of this year, coupled with different chipsets, and associated with the move from Slot One to flip chip packaging, makes for a rich mix which, if you'll excuse us too, is pretty hard to follow, particularly as Intel will change its plans at a drop of a hat. ® Register Stories Intel's Boxed Desktop roadmap revealed AMD prices set to kybosh Intel's 0.18 micron Celeron plans Intel positions Celeron against Athlon Intel's Celeron pricing to June Intel's Y2K roadmap for desktops, mobiles, servers Yu rips open Willamette kimono

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