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Intel roadmap times, they are a changin'

Celeron 633MHz/666MHz go on sale, Willamette's two flavours

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Intel has now bunged its boxed desktop processor customers its latest roadmap, which extends up to the end of this year.

For the first time, Tehama (the Willamette chipset) appears on the boxed roadmap, but only as a tiny little wedge towards the end. Nevertheless, the roadmap shows there will be at least two boxed Willamette flavours - one running at 1.3GHz and one at 1.4GHz.

The roadmap also contains information on the introduction of the Timna CPU and the Cu128.

The definitions that Intel uses for these roadmaps includes a system price but excludes the monitor.

Pentium III and Willamette

Intel divides its desktop processors into Performance (>$2K), Mainstream III ($1.5K-$2K), Mainstream II ($1.2K-$1.5K) and Mainstream I ($1.0-$2.K).

In this quarter (Q2), the Performance offering will be the 866/133 and the 850/133, with the 933/133 beginning to occupy this space at the end of June.

Mainstream III includes the 800MHz Pentium III at both 100MHz and 133MHz buses, Mainstream II the 750/100 and the 733/133, and Mainstream I the 700/133 and the 666/133MHz Pentium III. These are supported by both the i820 (cough) and the 440BX chipsets, and Intel hopes the 810E chipset is ramping during the current quarter. The 440BX only seems to run into August or so.

In Q3, the Performance offering is the 933MHz processor, with the 1GHz/133MHz chip beginning to occupy this space at the end of the quarter. Mainstream III includes the 866/133MHz and the 850/100MHz, Mainstream II the 800MHz at both system bus speeds, and Mainstream I the 750 and 733MHz Pentium IIIs. The 820E chipset starts to appear at the beginning of Q3 and lasts throughout the year.

In Q4, Intel hopes that its 1GHz/133MHz Pentium III will occupy the Performance space, but the Willamette 1.3GHz and 1.4GHz processors will also be here towards the close of the year. Mainstream III is occupied by the 933MHz PIII, Mainstream II by the 866MHz Pentium III, and Mainstream I by the 800MHz Pentium III.

Celerons, Timnas and Cu128s

Intel uses a different model for the value segment of its microprocessors - Value III ($850-$999), Value II ($700-$850) and Value I (less than $700).

In Q2, the Value III space is occupied by the 600MHz Celeron, although late this quarter the 700MHz and 666MHz Celerons make their appearance. The Value II space is hogged by the 566MHz Celeron, with the 633MHz Celeron coming in at the end of the quarter. The Value I space is occupied by the 533MHz and 500MHz Celerons.

In Q3, Value III is held by the 700MHz and Value III by the 666MHz and 633MHz Celerons. Towards the end of this period, Timnas at 666MHz start appearing. The Value I segment includes the 600MHz and 566MHz Celerons, with a 600MHz Timna arriving towards the end of the period.

Q4 sees some significant changes. The 733MHz Celeron is the top dog in the Value III space, the 700MHz and a mix of 666MHz Timnas and Celerons occupy Value II, and in the Value I segment the Celeron 633MHz and 600MHz Timnas/Celerons hold sway, Intel hopes.

The roadmap indicates that we will see the beginning of the end of the Celeron, if Intel has its way, probably in Q2 next year. To some extent, that will depend on the success of its Timna microprocessor, which at launch will use SDRAM memory.

Meanwhile, Intel's latest Celeron processors have started going on sale in Japan, the Akiba PC hotline has reported. And, at the same time, the 566MHz Celeron - a formerly popular little number - seems to be heading into Intel short-supply hell.

Akiba reports that the Celeron 633MHz is costing $229 on the Tokyo streets, while the 666MHz Celeron is around $240.

One Register reader reports that he was told by his distributor that the 566MHz in FC-PGA packaging, was currently unavailable. Instead, he said, he was offered the 533MHz chip and told that the 566MHz is unavailable.

Intel is making a series of price adjustments on microprocessors, including Celerons, Pentium IIIs and Xeons, on the 28th of May next.

As we have already pointed out (see link below), some of this is merely academic. Supplies of boxed Intel microprocessors are extremely restrained, with OEM customers getting the major lion's share of the fab output. ®

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