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Intel: Willamette already sampling

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Intel has already started sampling Willamette, its next generation IA-32 microprocessor, according to Intel senior VP Pat Gelsinger, as quoted by Nikkei Business Wire. Gelsinger also said that Intel will continue to up the frequency of Coppermine Pentium IIIs beyond the 1GHz it has already achieved, the Asian news service reports. Although Gelsinger would not give an exact date for volume production of the Willamette, according to Nikkei it could be between July or December. Those dates seem unnecessarily vague, if the chip is already sampling. Gelsinger, tipped by some to eventually head Intel, also said that it will take between three and eight quarters for the Willamette to begin to supplant the Pentium III family, the same reports added. If the reports are true, it suggests that Intel is on full steam ahead with the Willamette platform, probably in an attempt to cut AMD with its Athlon processor off at the gulch. Sources close to Intel confirmed that some Willamettes are indeed sampling, but so far only to development OEM accounts and to selected ISVs. Wider sampling has not yet commenced. If Intel is ahead of target on Willamette, which will start clocking at 1.4GHz, it is likely to be good news for Rambus. According to Intel, Rambus and Willamette go together like love and marriage. Others beg to differ on this. Gelsinger also said Intel is on target to intro its faster Celeron processors in Q2, despite reports in the US press last week. ® See also Willamette chip cores run at 3GHz Willamette won't launch at 1.5GHz this autumn Intel demos 1.5GHz Willamette Yu rips open Willamette kimono

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