Intel claims breakthrough on Pentium III speeds

Engineers say they can beat the 800MHz barrier

A report in EE Times yesterday suggested that Intel has found a way to push the raw MHz speed of its current Pentium III family beyond 800MHz. The method is an arcane process method called notched-poly which allows the gate length of a transistor to be narrowed to 100 nanometers. According to EE Times, Intel has already produced silicon using the technique. If true, that will allow the company to extend the life of its current technology while it continues developing its next generation 32-bit microprocessors code-named Willamette. Intel intends to ship 750MHz Pentium IIIs in January, and will bring forward the date of an 800MHz part into February, while it is also showing roadmaps to PC vendors showing an 833MHz microprocessor in early April. However, Willamette is not expected to start sampling until the middle of next year, at the earliest. Meanwhile, AMD is expected to intro 1GHz Athlon processors early next year, and copper 1.2GHz Athlons in or at the end of the first quarter 2000. ®