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VIA preps Pentium 4 ‘clone’

Beat them at their own game

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If Intel won't give us a Pentium 4 bus licence, we'll make our own Pentium 4. That, in effect, is what VIA told attendees at the Microprocessor Forum yesterday.

The chip - described in an interview with EBN as a "Pentium 4 clone" - is codenamed CZA and will run at 2GHz, utilise an 18-stage pipeline to get it there, and employ a "Pentium 4 bus" and P4 design concepts. It will be fabbed at 0.10 micron, but won't ship before 2003-2004.

The CZA is based on a new P4-style architecture, so it's no straightforward successor to VIA's current C3 family of x86 processors. The next C3-series processors, internally known as the C5X (aka Nehemiah) and the C5XL, both of which will ship during the first half of next year at 1.1-1.5GHz. Both may ship as the C4.

Interestingly, the follow-up to the C5X, believed to be dubbed the C5Y and codenamed Esther, is expected to ship in the second half of next year. That part is thought to the the one that will take VIA's chip family to 2GHz. At which point, presumably, it will be succeeded by the "Pentium 4 clone". ®

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