MANHASSET N.Y. With a high-end model of its new family of dual-core Pentium processors just beginning to ship, Intel remains on track to ship in volume several more mainstream versions of that processor in the second quarter of this year, the company told TechWeb Monday (April 11).
"We made an announcement at [the Intel Developers' Conference] in Taipei, where our vice president Abhi Talwalker revealed that we are shipping our first dual-core Pentiums to our customers," said Intel spokeswoman Shannon Love.
In his talk, which took place Feb. 11, Talwalker referred to the Pentium Processor Extreme Edition model 840. Running at a clock speed of 3.2 GHz, it's a high-end CPU intended for use in advanced gaming and multimedia PCs that will retail for total systems prices of $1,500 and up, according to a processor roadmap Intel began sharing with its resellers last month.
News that the Pentium Extreme Edition will be coming to market soon was re-emphasized by an announcement from Dell Monday. The direct-sales computer giant said it would offer that processor in its Precision 380 workstation, aimed at the high-end gaming market. Pricing and shipment dates weren't announced.
As for the sweet spot of the desktop market, where PCs equipped with dual-core processors are expected to sell in the $800 to $1,300 range, Intel confirmed that it continues to ramp up toward volume production. "We're on track to deliver our mainstream, high-volume Pentium D this quarter," Love added.
Love declined to provide additional details. However, the roadmap Intel has been showing its resellers lists three Pentium D-class processors. They are the models 820, 830 and 840, with clock speeds of 2.8 GHz, 3.0 GHz and 3.2 GHz, respectively. All have 800 MHz front-side buses and dual L2 caches of 1 MB in capacity. The processors also support Intel's EM64T 64-bit instruction-set extensions.
Intel's dual-core Pentiums will have competition from AMD, which in February demonstrated a dual-core version of its Athlon 64 desktop processor; it's expected to ship in the second half of this year.
However, Love downplayed any talk of a battle between the two companies, saying instead that Intel is sticking to its long-held plans. "Both Pentium Extreme Edition and the Pentium D are on track and are launching when they've always been planned to launch," said Love. "We don't see this as a race, though some people do."