Intel Corp. on Monday will officially launch its new 0.13-micron process Pentium III Tualatin processor for notebooks and servers -- an anti-climax since some OEMs and Taiwan motherboard makers have been showing products with the new chip for some time.
As previously reported, Tualatin is the first processor to be made with Intel's new 0.13-micron die shrink process. This will yield higher speed grades, with at least four Tualatin versions up to 1.2-GHZ to be unveiled. Intel is trying to restrict Tualatin to the notebook and entry server markets, which many analysts claimed is to avoid performance and cost comparisons with Pentium 4 processors.
Intel is expected later to bring out the 0.13-micron Tualatin core in a value-segment desktop Celeron version. The desktop chip will likely have smaller on-chip cache and some higher performance functions disabled, to differentiate it from higher priced Pentium 4 processors, still made on the 0.18-micron process. A 0.13-micron Pentium 4 version, code-named Northwood, is due out in the fourth quarter.
Intel still has no DDR-enabled chipset to support Tualatin, a void that will again be filled by Taiwan third party vendors. The Taiwan firms already supply DDR chipsets for other Pentium III processors.
Because Tualatin still uses the Pentium III 133-MHz processor bus, much of the advantage of the higher speed DDR memory is lost. DDR will have a much greater impact when Intel and third- party double data rate chipsets appear late this year and early 2002 for the 400-MHz quad-pumped Pentium 4.