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Intel plots P4 Xeon roadmap

Fister frank about Foster

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Intel will ship the server-oriented version of the Pentium 4, codenamed Foster, from Q2 next year, after the workstation release arrives (fingers crossed), alongside the 900MHz PIII Xeon, in Q1.

The 32-bit Foster will debut at 1.4GHz, the same speed as the workstation version of the P4. It is already known to operate with a 400MHz system bus, as we revealed previously.

The P4 Xeon - which is what it'll be, even if it's not ultimately called that - will offer what Chipzilla calls faster transaction performance and better multiprocessing support, the company's enterprise platforms group VP and general manager, Michael J Fister, told Reuters.

Still, despite that schedule, Intel clearly doesn't expect to get volume shipments of Foster up significantly through 2001, at least according to Fister's colleague, Bill Siu, VP of Intel's Architecture Group. So don't expect the PIII Xeon to disappear any time soon. Intel will probably want to get it up to 1GHz plus first, and then kick in with Foster.

Fister also reiterated Intel's promise that the first production 64-bit Itanium-based systems will ship in the first quarter of 2001, initially at 733MHz, rising to 800MHz later in the quarter. He noted that Hitachi, NEC and Unisys will ship eight, 16 and 32-way Itanium servers during the quarter, and that Compaq, Dell, IBM and HP are planning, but have yet to announce availability, machines based on the 64-bit chip.

Itanium's successor, McKinley, which will introduce Intel's successor to PCI, Infiniband, is still on course to arrive at the end of 2001, with higher clock speeds and lower power consumption than Itanium. ®

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