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The three flavours of Intel's Willamette chip

And the sad truth about the 1GHz CuMine III

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The roadmap which has provided us with so much interest this week, is also interesting about Willamette and the way the Pentium III CuMine platform will gradually be displaced by the next rev of IA-32 architecture.

In fact, according to notes we took, there will be a total of three Willamettes available by the first quarter of 2001, one at 1.3GHz, one at 1.4GHz, and one at or over 1.5GHz.

The 1GHz Intel Pentium III, according to our notes, will be "available for business and consumer SKUs in Q3 this year".

As we reported last month, engineering samples of the Tehama chipset are available right now, and it is currently sampling on A1 MCH and BO ICH2 steppings. "Early indicators are that the silicon is healthy," the roadmap says.

Production samples of Tehama will be available in either June or July, will delivery expected one to two weeks ahead of Willamette production samples, and Intel is aligning this with the intro of the microprocessor.

How much will Willamette and Foster cost? According to the roadmap, the entry price will be less than $1,000. Intel will intro one of its trailing processor SKU cunning plans to take advantage of the Pentium III branded demand. The 6xxMHz space is seen as a particularly lucrative area.

What are the so-called "sweet spots" for people making PCs? In the performance area, in Q4, it will be the movement towards 1.5GHz Willamettes, using Kinnereth and Gamla connectivity. In Q3 it will be the Pentium III 1GHz using the 820E chipset and employing Gilad and Kinnereth connectivity.

We were a bit puzzled as to the nature of one block we saw, which suggested that the Pentium III to 1GHz will be supported by two 820E flavours -- MTH 2+2 and the MTH 0+2. But we suspect that the problems with the memory translator hub make this block now suspect -- seeing as the roadmap we saw was dated mid-April.

Desktop machines in the $2000+ area (excluding monitor), will use Willamette. While there will also be high end Pentium IIIs in this space then, by Q1 of 2001, Tehama-Willamette will rule the roost. ®

To see the rest of this week's Intel scoops, including the Itanium launch date and prices, go to our Semiconductor Section

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