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Intel to launch 2.2GHz Pentium 4 chip

Intel is expected to launch its 2.2GHz Pentium 4 microprocessor on 7 January. The chip made it debut appearance last week in Tokyo and is the fastest Intel chip to date.

The processor will be Intel's first chip based on the 0.13-micron Northwood core, which features 512Kbytes of Level 2 cache. The 0.13-micron manufacturing process allows Intel to pack components more tightly on a chip, which can boost speed and lower cost and reduce power consumption.

"Larger cache does provide an important performance benefit," said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst with Insight 64.

Pentium 4 chips using the Northwood core will also run at 1.5 volts, compared to 1.75 volts for current Pentium 4 processors. Lowering the voltage lets the chips run cooler, which will become more important as Intel further increases the frequency speed of future Pentium 4 chips.

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