Intel to offer new chip design

Intel has sketched out its microprocessor road map, including plans for a new 32-bit microarchitecture which over time will replace the current P6 design on which the Pentium II processor is based.

The new micro architecture will incorporate a number of technology improvements which will allow the company's processors to execute software applications faster.

The new architecture will be introduced in late 2000 or early 2001 via a microprocessor code-named Foster. Intel is targeting clock speeds of 1GHz and beyond, which will help the company maintain a lead in the volume workstation and server markets, said Fred Pollack, an Intel director and Intel Fellow, with Intel's Microprocessor Products Group.

At about the same time, Intel will introduce a processor targeted at high-end desktop PCs and based on the new architecture, code named Willamette. Like Foster, Willamette will target clock speeds of 1GHz, and both chips will carry at least 1MB of on-chip Level 2 cache, which boosts the chips performance, Pollack said.

Foster and Willamette will both be manufactured using a 0.18-micron manufacturing technology.

The announcement shows that as Intel readies its first 64-bit processors next year, the company is continuing to advance its IA-32 architecture in tandem, Pollack said.

Intel is also on track for delivery in mid-2000 of the Merced 64-bit processor for the high-end workstation and server markets. Intel will make chipsets that allow Merced to be used in configurations of up to four processors, but will leave it up to its system manufacturing partners to develop their own chipsets for use in 8-way, 16-way and 32-way systems, Pollack said.

About a year after Merced debuts, Intel in late 2001 plans to release McKinley, a 64-bit processor for high-end workstations and servers that will offer twice the performance of Merced, Pollack said.

In 2002, when it moves to a new 0.13-micron manufacturing technology, Intel will produce lower cost versions of McKinley for the volume workstation and server markets.

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