14th > February > 1999 Archive

The Register breaking news

Two years ago: Pentium Pro to meet early doom

Persistent and reliable rumours reach The Register that September will see the demise of the Pentium Pro chip but if true that will be bad news for people who make SMP servers. According to two separate sources at major vendors, the price cuts Intel will make today on its MMX and Pro chips are merely the precursor of an early doom for the Pro. But doubts remain whether Intel will continue selling the Pro to vendors including Compaq because of the window remaining between September and the introduction of Slot 2 technology next February. (The Register, multiple passims - try a search on Deschutes). Sources at Intel were unable to confirm or deny the extinction of the Pro when asked last week. But a distributor who sells SMP servers said he thought it unlikely. He said: "I’d heard that we were going to get a 1Mb cache Pro in September." A source at a major, tier one vendor, said: "I have seen the roadmap and it is true the Pro will disappear in that timeframe." Another source said: "Intel wants to bump the workstation market into Slot 1 and is determined to remove threats from Cyrix and AMD by making further price cuts in MMX chips." In the original document exclusively revealed by The Register last year, Intel made no secret that its plans were to let the Pentium Pro slide in production in the second half of this year and to ramp up production of the Klamath PII. But it may seek to protect the tier one vendors creating SMP servers by assuring them supply until Deschutes Slot 2 stuff rolls off the production lines at the fabs. Another source said it was possible that Intel would introduce Deschutes before schedule, now that it had assured quality control for the PII. ®
Mike Magee, 14 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

IDT's chip roadmap surely rolleth

Jonathan Hou, at PC One seems to have a knack of getting these pesky chip vendors to talk to him. We can assure you, they are pesky. We're still trying to get a date with the marketeers at AMD so they can tell us all about the K6-III. (Story: AMD to call K6-3 the K6-III) Jonathan's recently managed to secure an interview with IDT-Centaur, makers of the fabled WinChip x.86 clone chip and in the process winkled some good information out of them. They've been keeping very quiet for the last few months, although now and again they've raised their head over the parapet. Here at The Register we talked to them just before Yule and they promised to get back to us early New Year, but not a peep out of them so far... According to the unnamed exec Hou talked to, IDT has now fixed the 3DNow! bug in its WinChip 2 part, IDT has a measly one per cent market share, but hopes to do better in the future. But IDT thinks it will knock spots off Rise and have better performance and pricing than the mP6 or the mP6-II. IDT chips up to WinChip 4 will support Super 7, and the company claims clock speeds will ramp during the course of this year, with the WinChip 4 reaching 500MHz in one year's time. IBM is foundrying its WinChip 4, but won't get caught in the same nasty mess as Cyrix. The company is sticking to its last, and attempting to sell chips into the so-called "white box" market, but will try and sell its mobile offerings to Tier One players, because it will be so inexpensive. WinChip 3 will come out in August and WinChip 4 in Q4 1999, according to IDT. Both parts will use .25 micron technology. Jonathan has dug out quite a bit more info than this summary. Check out his site for the full monty. ®
Mike Magee, 14 Feb 1999