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Intel samples Prescott, Dothan

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Intel has begun sampling Prescott desktop and Dothan mobile next-generation processors build on its 90nm process. And both chips will achieve "revenue shipments" during Q4, the company says.

So reports EBN, citing an unnamed Intel spokesman, undoubtedly responsding to questions concerning recent analyst claims that the company is having trouble getting its 90nm process right.

This latest statement in no way contradicts the delay applied to Dothan. Originally roadmapped for an early Q4 release, the next generation of the Pentium M processor will ship in the last few days of the year - to all intents and purposes, the chip will ship commercially in Q1 2004.

"Revenue shipments" usually mean initial, limited-quantity deliveries to manufacturers to enable them to launch product. But mass production of the chip (and thus sufficient systems to sell in volume to the public) usually follow somewhat later.

In the case of Dothan, some Q4 availability is sufficient to allow Intel to make good on its pledge to ship the chip in the second half of 2003. The company has touted the same broad timeframe for the launch of Prescott, the successor to today's top end 'Northwood' Pentium 4 processors. Roadmaps show the chip arriving in Q4 at 3.2GHz and 3.4GHz, ramping up to 3.6GHz in Q1 2004. Lower speed versions will follow two, as Intel ships Prescotts that fail to operate at the higher clock frequencies but can cope with lower, 2.8GHz and 3GHz ratings.

Both chips are expected to feature heavily in Intel presentations at its Developer Forum in two weeks' time - not coincidentally held the week before AMD rolls out its Athlon 64 processor. ®

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