Intel to discount Pentium 4 next year

PCs using the Pentium 4 chip, which uses a new architecture called NetBurst for improved graphics, Internet browsing, and multi-media applications, will drop in price from its current $US1900- to $US2000-per system range to approximately $US1500 by the first quarter of 2001, according to Intel spokesperson George Alfs.

Alfs said that by the end of summer 2001, certain versions of the discounted Pentium 4 will operate somewhere near the 2Ghz range, with all versions being manufactured to 0.13-microns by the end of 2001.

Intel also will apply its NetBurst architecture to its Xeon server line of chips. The dual processor-capable, NetBurst-based Xeon chips, code named Foster, also will be available next summer, according to Otto Pijpker, a spokesperson for the company's Enterprise Server Group.

Pentium 4 processors will remain uniprocessor chips for the short term, Pijpker said.

Announced in August at the company's developer's forum, NetBurst represents the first significant redesign of Intel's desktop processors since the Pentium Pro chip in 1995.

Intel has plans for an 800Mhz value-class Celeron processor, said Alfs. Targeted for the first half of 2001, Intel will increase the bus speed of the new Celeron chip from 66Mhz to 100Mhz.

On the mobile front, Intel plans a 1GHz-700MHz Mobile Pentium III SpeedStep processor for delivery in mid-2001 that consumes fewer than two watts during normal operation. At about the same time, the processor giant is expected to introduce a slower, more battery-efficient 500-300MHz Mobile Pentium III SpeedStep processor to compete with Transmeta's low-power Crusoe chip, according to an Intel spokesperson.

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