Intel brings the Pentium 4 to 3.2GHz

Intel has cranked up the clock speed of its Pentium 4 processor to 3.2GHz, making it the fastest chip in its product line.

Intel has cranked up the clock speed of its Pentium 4 processor to 3.2GHz, making it the fastest chip in its product line.

The processor has an 800MHz front-side bus and support for hyperthreading, two features that have been rolled out to most Pentium 4 chips over the last few months.

Intel has recently played up the features of its processors and its chipsets more than the actual clock speed of the chip, which represents a change in the company's marketing strategy, said Shane Rau, an analyst with IDC. Before, the company preferred to emphasise its ability to scale its Northwood processor core to higher frequencies, but now emphasises several performance metrics when discussing its chips, he said.

The 3.2GHz Pentium 4 processor is likely to carry the performance lead for Intel until the launch of Prescott, scheduled to be its first 90-nanometer processor, later this year, Rau said.

Intel is shipping processors to system vendors worldwide from today. The new Pentium 4 processor costs $637 in quantities of 1,000 units.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service

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