A product of Intel's recently implemented 300mm wafer chip fabrication process, the new Pentium 4 is built to a 0.13-micron architecture and packs in approximately 55 million transistors, Intel said.
The chip should begin appearing in desktop PCs from Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Gateway very shortly. PC vendors typically follow Intel's product roadmap with product releases of their own.
The 2.4GHz Pentium 4 will also up the competition between Intel and chip rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). Recently, AMD released a 1.73GHz Athlon XP 2100+ chip that directly competes with Intel for PC OEM market share.
Any bet by Intel that an expected three-year corporate PC refresh cycle set in motion following Y2K upgrades will bring increased orders for Pentium 4 chips may not be so sound, according to Ashok Kumar, an industry analyst at US Bancorp Piper Jaffray.
"Our view increasingly is that the three-year PC upgrade cycle is more of vendor-induced hype than one based on reality," said Kumar in a recent report.