Intel roadmap leaks again

Can Chipzilla keep nothing secret?

With the hype and hot air surround last weeks launch of the P4 cooling, we thought it was time to revisit our roadmap department and produce up to date listings of what's coming in the next few months from both AMD and Intel.

Intel's confidential roadmap found its way to The Reg over the weekend, and it won't come as much of a surprise to find Pentium 4 looming large in Intel's plans for the months ahead, but P4 isn't the only pebble on Chipzilla's beach.

In the workstation segment, Pentium III is still the mainstay of the $2k-$5k range, due in no small part to its SMP capabilities (P4, you will recall is strictly a loner). The 1GHz PIII using the 820 or 840 chipsets rules the SMP roost until Q2 next year when the Pentium 4 Xeon appears in the guise of the chip currently codenamed Foster. Foster will debut at 1.7GHz and use the 860 chipset.

The ill-fated 1.13GHz Pentium III is still on the roadmap to make its second coming in Q2, but we're still not convinced it'll ever reappear.

In the entry level workstation and performance desktop segments, P4 dominates through Q1, when a 1.3GHz part is scheduled to appear in a bid to plug the gap between the top of the PIII range and P4. Whether the price/performance of this part will be adequate to steal sales from the likes of the 1.2GHz Athlon remains a moot point.

Of more interest is the launch of the 1.7GHz and 2GHz P4 parts in Q2. Intel shows the faster of these two chips being equal to or greater than 2GHz and our intelligence points to the 2GHz chip arriving somewhat earlier than advertised, perhaps as early as January.

By Q2, the 1GHz PIII will find itself in mainstream systems priced between $1.2k and $1.5k. An entry-level Celeron system will set you back less than $700 and will be clocked at 733MHz. Celeron finally moves to a 100MHz FSB with the 800MHz part due in Q1 and will hit 850MHz three months later, when you'll be able to buy a system for under $1000.

In the mobile space, Pentium III jumps to 900MHz in Q1 and 1GHz in Q2, still using the seemingly-immortal BX440 chipset. The new 815EM chipset starts to sneak into the picture very late this year and is scheduled to account for over 50 over cent of mobiles by the end of Q2.

Mobile Celerons will reach 750MHz in Q1 and 800MHz in Q2 in notebooks priced between $1.5k and $1.8k. At the low end, you should be able to pick up a 700MHz Celeron notebook for under a thousand bucks sometime in Q2.

In the server space, P4's inability to work in SMP mode leaves the way open for PIII Xeon to keep things ticking over until Foster debuts in Q2. Even then, Foster will only run in dual processor systems with Xeon running at up to 700MHz (but with a whopping 2MB on-die cache) in four-way and above using the ServerWorks and Profusion chipsets.

Q2 should see the launch of the 0.13 micron shrink of the Pentium III, codenamed Tualatin. This has been pulled in from Q3 and will appear in both desktop and mobile versions with 256KB on-die L2 cache. Tualatin is currently billed to launch at 1.26GHz (a tad pessimistic, we feel) and, rather irritatingly, won't run with the existing 8xx series chipsets, requiring the new B-stepping of the MCH.

Maintaining this lack of backwards-compatibility, towards the end of the year, the successor to P4/Willamette appears in the shape of Northwood. This is a die shrink to 0.13 micron and will come in yet another form factor - the 478-pin socket. Northwood will launch at over 2GHz. ®

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