Intel delays launch of Sonoma chipset

Intel is delaying release of its next-generation mobile chipset, code-named Sonoma, until the first quarter of 2005, according to a source at Intel.

Sonoma was expected out in the second half of this year, but a design problem would push back the formal industry launch of the chipset to next year, the source said.

It will ship for revenue this year, meaning unit shipments will be sent to PC makers, at which time Intel will be bringing in revenue from Sonoma. Unit shipments to PC makers typically occur about six weeks before the products are available using the chipset.

Silicon for the chipset did not meet Intel's production standards, the source said, characterising the problem as a design issue rather than a manufacturing issue.

The silicon problem was not related to a flaw affecting the 915 G/P and 925X chipsets, formerly known as Grantsdale and Alderwood, that led Intel to recall some of those from system vendors and channel partners late last month. That flaw was in the I/O controller on the chipsets and could prevent a computer from starting normally.

Sonoma will enable Intel to introduce a Pentium M processor with a 533MHz front-side bus, which connects the chipset with the processor, as well as providing PCI Express interconnect technology and support for double data rate 2 (DDR2) memory.

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