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Intel delays death of 100MHz Pentium

Ten-year-old chip survives a little longer

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Anyone in the market for 296-pin 100, 133 or 166MHz Pentium processors, or 200 and 233MHz Pentiums with MMX, now has a little longer to order some.

Intel Pentium 100MHzThis week Intel told its customers that it was extending the final date to which it will accept orders for these ancient parts to 31 March. However, any orders taken can't be cancelled and ordered parts may not be returned, the chip giant warned.

Documentation seen by The Register show that Intel will ship said Pentiums up until 24 November this year - just over ten years after the first of their number first shipped.

Curiously, the five chips listed remain, Intel said, in "a limited amount of supply", but it presumably has sufficient numbers of dusty cartons on hard-to-reach shelves in its warehouses to warrant extending the final order deadline in a bid to sell them before it has to put them out with the garbage. No doubt it wants to make space for all the chips it's been unable to sell over the last six months or so thanks to the semiconductor industry's inventory correction problem.

In case you're wondering who might want such long-in-the-tooth CPUs, the sale is being made by Intel's embedded products division, so we imagine the chips are destined if not for the trash then for consumer electronics kit and the like.

The MMX Pentiums not only added the MMX multimedia instruction set, the precursor to the more widely used SSE instructions, but upped the original Pentium's 16KB of L1 cache to 32KB. Neither processor had on-die L2 cache. Both chip types were fabbed at 350nm and were based on Intel's fifth-generation x86 architecture. ®

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