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Intel to shrink Celeron to 90nm

'Most of the value line' in that timeframe

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Intel may have pushed back the ramp of its 90nm desktop chip, 'Prescott', back by a quarter, but it appears to have brought forward its plan to offer Celeron chips based on the new process.

Speaking during a conference call after announcing the chip giant's Q3 results, CFO Andy Bryant said the company will shift "most of the value line" of processors to 90nm during Q1 2004.

Certainly, the most recent mobile roadmap we've seen has an 800MHz Ultra-low Voltage Celeron part based on the 90nm mobile Pentium M, codenamed 'Dothan' due for release in Q1 next year, but that's just one chip. A Prescott-based mobile Celeron clocked at 3.06GHz isn't down to appear until Q2.

A more recent desktop roadmap shows Prescott-based Celerons appearing at 2.8GHz and 3.06GHz in Q2, too.

Bryant's comment suggests some of the Prescott parts have been brought forward by a quarter. A 1.3GHz Mobile Celeron based on today's 'Banias' Pentium M is due to ship in Q1, followed by faster versions in subsequent quarters. Intel may have taken the decision to switch these to Dothan-based versions.

During the conference, Intel's President, Paul Otellini, stressed that Intel's 90nm process is "healthy" and that both Prescott and Dothan are "sound". He reiterated Intel's commitment to achieving "revenue shipments" by year's end.

The implication is that the three-month delay has bought Intel enough extra time to get the process right, and while that may mean it has had to play with semantics to meet its previous deadline - 'revenue' shipments rather than 'volume' shipments - of delivery by the end of 2003, the company believes it will be ready to ramp up production very quickly come 2004. ®

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