Intel to roll out new Prescott processor chip

Users will be able to buy desktop PCs equipped with Prescott, the latest version of Intel's desktop processor, early next year.

Users will be able to buy desktop PCs equipped with Prescott, the latest version of Intel's desktop processor early next year.

Intel is confident users will buy PCs equipped with the new chip, despite businesses finding it increasingly difficult to justify the cost of buying new desktop PCs.

Intel president and chief operating officer Paul Otellini and chief executive officer Craig Barrett revealed plans for a number of the company's products, and outlined some strategies for growth, during a recent briefing to financial analysts.

Shipments of the Prescott chip, the 90-nanometer successor to Intel's 3.2GHz Pentium 4 processor, will be incorporated into the Celeron product line during next year.

The company expects shipments of the chip to account for 60% of all Intel desktop processors by the second quarter of next year, Otellini said. The first version of the chip will have a clock speed of 4GHz.

Intel also said demand for the company's 64-bit Itanium II server processor was strong and that it had shipped 100,000 Itanium II processors, a figure comparable to shipments of rival architectures from IBM and Sun.

The Itanium II has been gaining in popularity among users thanks in part to its strong price/performance ratio compared to traditional Unix hardware based on Sparc, PowerPC or PA-Risc designs.

Looking at the benchmark results from the Transaction Processing Council, where Hewlett-Packard's four-way Itanium II server gave a transaction per minute result of 780,000, Philip Dawson, an analyst at research company Datamonitor, said that in the near term, users should consider high-end Intel platforms for their .net and Linux IT infrastructures.

He also said users should consider more complex migrations to high-end Intel-powered hardware during the next three to five years.

One of the new technologies Intel will be targeting in 2004 and beyond is WiMax, the metro-area network wireless technology. WiMax, based on the 802.16 standard ratified by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is designed to connect users wirelessly over an area measured in square miles, rather than the more limited coverage afforded by Wi-Fi devices today.

The company will also ship its first chip that combines Bluetooth and Wi-Fi next year, Barrett said.

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