Intel is rolling out its next generation of Pentium 4 processors, banking that a change in the chip's dimensions and additional clock speed will help it start 2002 with momentum.
The company Monday unveiled its 2.2GHz version of the Pentium 4 chip--its so-called Northwood processor--built with its smaller 0.13-micron technology.
Pricing for the 2.2GHz chip will run $562 in 1,000-unit quantities, Intel said, making it the highest-priced processor as well as the highest-performing one.
Also, the chip maker is shipping a new, 0.13-micron-based Pentium 4 at 2GHz, calling it the Pentium 4 2.0A chip, which it is pricing at $364. Existing Pentium 4 2GHz processors will be dropped in price to $342, the company said.
Intel also said it will ship a new version of its 845 chipset, which will be compatible with Double Data Rate (DDR) memory, as well as a new 850 chipset that will operate with RDRAM.
While expected, the Northwood processors represent an important milestone for Intel. The newer processors will ship with a larger, 512-Kbyte cache size and will run cooler with lower thermal power and enable further cost reductions in the product line.
Paul Otellini, Intel's executive vice president and head of the Intel Architecture Group, has said he expects that operating with a 0.13-micron process design, Intel should ship Pentium 4 processors at 3GHz by late this year.
Some solution providers have said they expect Intel will also follow suit later this month with additional price cuts throughout the rest of the Pentium 4 line.