Intel confirms 'Tualatin' roll-out

Tualatin is Intel's first processor manufactured using a 0.13 micron process technology, a term that refers to the dimension of circuits etched on the surface of chips. Most of Intel's current processors are manufactured using a 0.18-micron process, and the new process should allow Intel to make processors that run faster, generate less heat and consume less power.

Such improvements typically bring the most benefits to notebook computers, where an improved manufacturing process can help boost performance without reducing battery life. However, the first Tualatin systems released are likely to be servers that will begin appearing "in the next 30 days or so," Intel spokesman Otto Pijpker said.

IBM will be among the first vendors to support the new chip, with plans to release a Tualatin server next week, a spokeswoman said.

The chip maker has actually been shipping Tualatin processors to system vendors since May, Pijpker said.

The server version of Tualatin runs at 1.13GHz, has 512KB of Level 2 cache memory, and supports SMP (symmetric multiprocessing), according to a source familiar with Intel's plans. SMP allows multiple processors to run a single copy of an operating system; in Tualatin's case, the chip will be available in two-processor servers, the source said. Only Intel's Pentium III Xeon and 64-bit Itanium processor can be used in systems with more than two processors.

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