Tulloch, Willamette and Northwood plans firm up

And more on Timna and the arrival of Camino III

Taipei Roadmaps we have now seen confirm why third party manufacturers are showing reluctance to develop motherboards for the Willamette microprocessor.

Willamette, a 423 pin design, based on the Tehama chip, only has a limited lifespan -- from Q4 this year. But in Q2 next year, Intel will, as we have reported, introduce the Tulloch chipset for the Willamette microprocessor, as part of its build up for Northwood in the second half of next year.

This Willamette has 479 pins, and involves a radical design of the board, including additional memory channels, according to information we have seen.

The later version of the Willamette is a die-shrink, and is intended to pave the way for Northwood next year, which will be a .13 micron microprocessor.

There appear to be plans to introduce these processors for both synchronous memory and Rambus.

But the additional 54 pins pose something of a mystery, even given support for extra channels. Tulloch is the name of a lake, so you can draw whatever conclusions you like from that, although it appears that Taiwanese firms may sink or swim in those waters.

And Timna, which has a packaging called S370S, and which is now delayed until Q1 next year, has a successor called Timna +, according to the roadmaps.

The reason for the delay is suspected to be difficulties incorporating the graphics and audio capabilities within one package. Samples of the S370S Timna were around at last week's Computex show, but there is speculation that the cost of producing these so-called system-on-a-chip packages may cast doubt over their eventual future, given that they were originally intended for the very lowest end of the market.

Some motherboard manufacturers, despite the die shrink and pin packaging differences with Willamette, were showing boards. But others have decided the window of opportunity for Willamette I is such that it's simply not worth doing.

And if you think Caminogate is over, think again. Camino III will be introduced in the second quarter of next year, along with Almador chipset. Almador is the successor to the 815 and the 815e.

Towards the end of this year, we will see the arrival of Solano-2M on the Intel scene. ®

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