Intel delays Dothan debut?

90nm chip knocked back to end of year, apparently

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Intel has put back the release of its next-generation Pentium M processor, codenamed 'Dothan' back to what is effectively early 2004.

So claims Japanese web site PC Watch, which has a pretty good record on its Pentium M (aka Banias) forecasts.

When Intel announced Dothan, at the Pentium M launch last March, it would only say the chip would ship during the second half of the year. Roadmaps seen by PC Watch not so long ago had Dothan pegged for a September/October release.

However, August roadmaps show that the chip, to be initially offered at 1.8GHz, has been put back to the very end of Q4. That allows Intel to say it stuck to its promise of shipping in the second half of 2003, but means that the chip will effectively arrive in Q1 2004.

The 1.9GHz Dothan will now officially ship in Q1 2004, and the 2GHz part appears to have been pushed out to Q3 2004.

Dothan is Intel first 90nm mobile part, and it's likely that the delay centres on the process technology. Beyond the die-shrink, Dothan is an improved Banias with double the on-die L2 cache (2MB).

The 90nm Prescott M, a tweaked version of the next generation of Pentium desktop processor that will be aimed at desktop-replacement notebooks, will ship sometime in Q4 at 2.8, 3.06, 3.2 and 3.46GHz, according to PC Watch's roadmap, before rising to 3.73GHz in Q2 2004.

Fabbed at 90nm it may be, but Prescott M will generate 80W of power dissipated as heat. The 2.6GHz Pentium 4 M pumps out around 35W, but that's expected to be phased out by the end of Q1 2004, leaving just Dothan and Prescott M as Intel's major mobile offerings. Dothan dissipates 25W of power. Low Voltage and Ultra-low Voltage versions, due late Q4 2003 take the dissipation down to 12W and 7W, respectively.

The LV and ULV will stay at 1.3 and 1GHz, respectively, from launch through Q2 2004, according to the roadmap.

The amount of heat Dothan generates is no better than Banias' - despite the drop from 130nm to 90nm. That suggests that current leakage is more of a problem at the smaller process than might have been expected, forcing Intel to up the power to get signals through. Indeed, PC Watch's source claims that Dothan will consume 1.25W to Banias' 1W.

In the Mobile Celeron space, Prescott will replace the current top-end Celerons' Northwood core in Q1 2004. The Prescott-based Mobile Celeron will clock at 3.06GHz and contain 256KB of L2.

The already anticipated Banias-based Mobile Celeron will ship in Q4 this year at 1.3GHz, rising to 1.4GHz in Q1 2004.

Ultra-low Voltage Mobile Celerons will go straight to the Dothan core, in Q4 2003 (ie. Q1 2004). They will contain 512KB of L2 cache and be clocked at 800MHz at launch, rising to 900MHz the following quarter. ®


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