Intel: 1.13GHz PIII will return in a 'couple of months'

Howard High, a spokesman for the chip maker, said the next couple of months are needed to address why the 1.13GHz Pentium III chip was freezing under certain test conditions and to reconfigure the chip so it meets the company's standards. High said Intel learned a few days before the chip's July 31 public debut from two hardware testing sites, Tomshardware.com and HardOCP.com, that the chips were not performing properly.

Initial speculation was that the chip was running too hot, so Intel testers worked to duplicate the testing conditions of the test sites, High said. That speculation was confirmed by Intel's testing. The 1.13GHz chip should run at about 35 degrees Celsius and should have some latitude to run a bit hotter, High said.

In the past couple of weeks, Intel intensified its testing and determined the temperature problem was related to certain circuits on the chip and not the manufacturing process. He said, in general, two tests are done on chips to make sure they run properly. One test requires that the processor recompile Linux code to test that function and the performance of the chip. The second test, called Sysmark 2000, requires the chip to run a bank of standard desktop application suites. The chip, on occasion, failed to complete both tests, High said.

As a result of the halt in production and shipments, High said Intel has contacted each OEM (original equipment manufacturer) about the problem. The chip was selling in 1000 unit lots for $US990 a piece. Thus far, only a "very small" number of the chips have shipped, according to Intel.

IBM on Monday said it had shipped a few of its high-end Aptivas with the new chip and would be working with customers on the problem. Dell had taken orders for its Dimension XPS B desktop machine with the 1.13GHz chip. However, no shipments had been made before Monday's chip recall. Dell will contact consumers who have ordered a 1.13GHz system and will offer them a 1GHz system as an alternative.

Analysts Monday said Intel has been feeling pressure to put itself back out in front of the chip-speed race and that the 1.13GHz chip speed was stretching the limits of the Pentium III's capabilities. That speed is at the high end of the range for the Pentium III, High said. The Pentium IV chip that ships later this year will start at speeds of 1.4GHz.

Some analysts also suggested that Intel felt pressure to get the new chip out, as rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) had its 1GHz chip claiming the top position in the speed category.

"We feel pressure to get every product out," High said. Intel has to balance pressures to get a product to market with maintaining tough standards for the company's products. So now, High said, engineers will begin to review the chip and get it ready to ship again in a couple of months.

"We take it pretty seriously when we don't meet [our] standard," he said. "We would rather take the short-term to admit the [product] mistake ... and make sure customers feel they can rely on our products."

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Evans

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?