Intel admits 2GHz Pentium 4 will launch on 27 August

It's official

Intel has confirmed it will indeed announce the 2GHz Pentium 4 in just under two weeks' time - just ahead of massive price cuts throughout the rest of the desktop P4 line.

Company vice-president of microprocessor marketing Anand Chandrasekher admitted the arrival of the 2GHz part in a piece over at CNET promoting Intel's upcoming Developer Forum. Chandrasekher said the 2GHz P4 will be launched on Monday, 27 August, the first day of the Forum.

The day before, Intel will cut 55 per cent off the price of the current top-of-the-range P4, which runs at 1.8GHz.

Chandrasekher also said told CNET to tell readers that Forum attendees should "expect to see a ton of 1394" as Intel uses the event to promote its vision of the PC as a digital entertainment centre.

It's certainly interesting that Intel should suddenly be keen in IEEE-1394 (aka FireWire, aka iLink) after so many Pat Gelsinger IDF keynotes that centred on dismissing the technology and talking up USB. What's changed? Well, with a dip in the PC market, vendors are desperate to find new applications, and are increasingly looking to the consumer electronics world for inspiration. So while 1394 was once just a niche product for niche players - ie. Apple - it's now important to the big guns too.

And until Microsoft issues a Windows XP patch that adds USB 2.0 support to the new OS - it won't be supported in the first release, Microsoft has admitted already - Intel has little option but to swallow its pride and talk up 1394.

Of greater interest to chip industry watchers will be Intel's discussion of Banias - it's mysterious mobile-oriented processor, currently being developed from the ground up by a team in Israel.

Finally, and without a trace of irony, CNET's article notes that sources say Intel CEO Craig Barrett will not be attending IDF, but will be "fly-fishing in Mongolia". We'd never really thought of Mongolia as a key fly-fishing venue, so we suspect Uncle Craig may instead be keen to visit the might capitals of the Khans and ponder the story of a mighty empire that crumbled over just a few generations.

An important lesson there, Craig, we'd say... ®