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Meltdown melts down Intel launch plans

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Asian motherboard makers say Intel will postpone the launch of its next mainstream quad-core processor line, code-named Lynnfield, according to DigiTimes.

In addition, the usually reliable Taipei news service reports that Chipzilla will also postpone Lynnfield's companion chipset, the P55.

According to DigiTimes' sources, the chips - up until today set to launch in July - won't appear until August or September or until "an even later time depending on the market situation."

Considering that Intel announced yesterday that its Q4 2008 profits were down 90 per cent from the same quarter in 2007, the "market situation" is - not to put too fine a point on it - crap.

Lynnfield, a Nehalem-based processor aimed at the mainstream performance market, was first expected to be released in the first half 2009. It then slipped to the end of July.

The quad-core will be the first of Intel's Nehalem processors to use the new LGA1160 socket, which Fudzilla reported as shipping in mid-December, as well as the P55 chipset. Intel plans to phase out its current P43 and P45 chipsets when the P55 appears.

However, the Meltdown has left motherboard makers with scads of unsold P43 and P45 motherboards, and they're not anxious to have them obsoleted sooner rather than later.

With what can only assume is plenty of unsold inventory of its own, Intel is in no condition to argue. It seems reasonable that the company and its customers have come to an agreement: Push Lynnfield and the P55 into the future.

Exactly when that future will be is still up in the air.

Or, more properly put, down in the crapper. ®

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