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Intel to add NX security to Pentium 4 in Q4

E-0 stepping to support WinXP SP2 feature

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Intel will add support for Microsoft's No Execute (NX) security technology to its P4 CPUs in Q4, reports suggest.

Taiwanese motherboard maker sources cited by DigiTimes claim the chip giant will introduce support for NX from the end of Q3. A BIOS update will be all that's required to enable support at the mobo level, they add.

The move will take in all of Intel's 90nm desktop CPUs: Pentium 4 and Celeron D. The recently released 'Nocona' 90nm Xeon DP will get it too - though probably sooner, when it ships at the start of August. The sources suggest the 90nm mobile Pentium M and Celeron M will get NX support too, but not for some time - Q1 2005 is the likely timeframe, they claim.

So, initially, it will be Socket T processors that gain the technology, when Intel introduces its E-0 core stepping in October. The source say Intel will suffix each chip's model number with J to identify those with NX support.

Curiously, the sources don't appear to have mentioned the Mobile Pentium 4, which was upgraded to 90nm in June 2004 and which is also expected to be upgraded to an E-0 core. The MP4 doesn't have a high life expectancy, with the line believed to be scheduled for termination early next year.

NX will be brought in at the OS level when Microsoft ships Windows XP Service Pack 2. AMD's Athlon 64 and Opteron processors already provide the basis for NX, as will the upcoming 90nm incarnation of Transmeta's Efficeon x86-compatible CPU. ®

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