Intel delays Timna release until 2001

Timna, which had been due to ship in the second half of this year, was designed originally to work with a high-performance memory type known as Rambus DRAM (dynamic random access memory). Prices for Rambus DRAM have remained relatively high, however, and Intel must use a component known as a MTH (memory translator hub) so that the processor can work with more affordable SDRAM (synchronous DRAM) components.

Therein lies the problem. Last month, Intel announced that it would recall thousands of motherboards designed around its 820 chipset because of a problem with the MTH that has the potential to cause system failures. The chip maker is apparently unwilling to risk using the same MTH with its Timna processor, so it is quickly designing a new one.

"We've determined that (today's MTH) doesn't meet Intel's standards for quality and reliability," Intel spokesman Seth Walker said in a phone interview today. "As such, we will design a new memory interface product to be used specifically with Timna."

"Intel is going to wait to ship the Timna processor until that new memory interface is complete," and until PC manufacturers are ready to launch Timna-based systems into the market, Walker said.

Intel insisted that the delay isn't due to any problems with the Timna processor itself - only with the memory interface that connects the processor to SDRAM memory chips.

While the delay may bruise Intel's pride, at least one analyst said today's news isn't very significant for the company from a competitive standpoint, or for consumers.

Timna's design, which integrates the processor, graphics chip and memory controllers onto a single piece of silicon, might help reduce the overall cost of building a PC by as much as $US25 for PC manufacturers. But a saving that small is unlikely to translate into lower system prices for end users, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst with California-based research firm Insight 64.

In addition, Timna was unlikely to offer a significant performance boost over a standard Celeron processor used in conjunction with Intel's 810E chipset, which includes an integrated graphics chip, Brookwood said.

"Intel's branding strategy was never really to say ‘Here's a hot new product'," Brookwood said. "Timna was going to be slipped in there as another one of the Celerons."

Intel's main rival, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), doesn't currently offer an integrated processor to compete with Timna. Taiwan's Via Technologies is developing such an intagrated device, but it's not clear yet when that product will ship, and Via's products are aimed more at manufacturers in Asia, Brookwood said.

Intel will devote the additional capacity in its manufacturing plants that it saves from delaying Timna to producing more of its high-performance Pentium III processors, which have been in short supply. However, Intel still expects supplies of those processors to remain tight into the second half of this year, he added. The Timna delay also isn't expected to have a material impact on Intel's financial performance, Walker said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?