SANTA CLARA, Calif. --Intel Corp.'s twice-delayed Camino PC chip set will ship in the fourth quarter, and most likely in November, according to industry sources that were briefed by Intel this week.
A spokesman for Intel professed the company officially no knowledge of the meeting, which several sources said was conducted in advance of the company's quarterly earnings conference call today.
"There have been no public updates on Camino," said a company spokesman, who added that platform integration work continues and no new launch date has been scheduled.
That may be true, but sources said they were specifically told that Intel would roll out the Camino, or Intel 820 as it is officially known, in the fourth quarter. They said the company also indicated that it would be able to ship the product at that time, though only in small quantities. Earlier this week, Intel publicly denied that the Camino would be released in the first quarter of 2000, contradicting published reports.
The briefing on Monday caught at least one staunch Intel customer by surprise, with sources at a major PC OEM telling EBN that its procurement department had still received no word as to the official Camino launch date. The Carmel, or Intel 840, chip set, which contains two Direct Rambus channels, is still on schedule to be launched Oct. 25 in conjunction with Intel's Coppermine microprocessors.
Analysts and industry sources say the bug that delayed the Camino launch last month was caused when signal integrity issues arose in motherboards using three Direct Rambus memory module (RIMM) slots. Further technical detail was unavailable, but analysts and Rambus Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., have said the error does not occur in the Direct Rambus memory itself., which sources interviewed by EBN have confirmed.
Several sources were divided as to whether the reworked design-which will use a two-slot module implementation-will force suppliers to scrap existing Camino-based motherboards. In either case, they said, OEMs will likely shy away from any potentially faulty boards, which likely means that Camino systems will not have much of an effect on the Christmas selling season.
"There may be some number of systems sold during the fourth quarter, but I'm not sure we'll see significant end-user volume until Q1," one source said.