PALM SPRINGS, Calif. Intel said Tuesday (Aug. 31) that it will bring its Pentium III Coppermine processor to market faster than expected and at a higher clock speed that anticipated.
The semiconductor giant in October will ship a 700MHz version of the processor, implemented in 0.18-micron CMOS, said Pat Gelsinger, Intel vice president for desktop products. Previous reports had the CPU coming out in November at something closer to 600MHz.
The processor, which is now sampling in Taiwan, will ship from four fabs in volumes for all segments: mobile, home, desktop, workstation and servers. An early system spin will be "legacy-reduced," which will include USB 1.1 but not serial or parallel ports. "It's all about ease of use," Gelsinger said, in an interview during the annual Intel Developer Forum here.
Coppermine, which represents a process shrink from quarter micron, also includes 256K-bytes of secondary on chip cache. The faster production ramp plays against the backdrop of a resurgent Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.), which has pushed a 650MHz Athlon processor across the chess board at Intel. AMD claims the device has the same performance as a 700-MHz Pentium III.
The news comes as the PC sector is rebounding after months of stagnation. Dataquest reported earlier this year that worldwide PC unit sales are up 25 percent year-over-year.
One sticking point for Coppermine, the lack of availability of supporting chipsets, is being resolved, Gelsinger said. Intel is quickly ramping production of 810 and 820 chipsets, which will run a 133MHz frontside bus.
Separately, Intel CEO Craig Barrett demonstrated working samples of its 64-bit Merced processor.