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Intel confirms Pentium model numbers

300, 500 and 700-series chips

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Update Intel has apparently confirmed that it is indeed going to replace its current clock frequency-based chip naming scheme with one centring on model numbers.

To date, claims that such a move is in the offing have come from sources within companies who buy processors from the chip giant. But according to a Reuters report, Intel admitted as much itself late last week. The report doesn't, however, mention just who said so.

Last week, it emerged that Intel has decided to rename its 90nm processors as 300, 500 and 700-series chips. Taiwanese manufacturer sources suggested those numbers applied to the desktop Celeron, desktop Pentium 4 and mobile Pentium M lines, respectively.

The latest report suggests - more logically, we have to admit - that the three series numbers will be applied to the desktop Celeron, desktop Pentium 4 and desktop Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, respectively.

Possibly not coincidentally, as a number of Reg readers have pointed out, car maker BMW ranges its powerful, luxurious vehicles along very similar lines, with 3, 5, 6 and 7 series autos.

Intel's idea is to provide a number which better shows relative processor performance, taking into account other features, such as cache sizes, frontside bus speeds, architectural elements like HyperThreading, as well as clock speed.

The 90nm Pentium M processor, 'Dothan', is expected to be the first chip to feature the new nomenclature. The Pentium M family has long offered comparable performance to its desktop siblings but at much lower clock frequencies. It's not clear from the Reuters report what its number will be.

However, Japanese web site PC Watch suggest Dothan will also carry the '700' tag - the 2GHz version will be rated as a '755', for example, the 1.7GHz part as '735'. That suggests that desktop model numbers are not intended to be compared directly to their mobile equivalents. Or will Dothan indeed perform comparably to the cache-loaded P4EE? ®

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