Intel plugs new socket for Celeron

Aiming to reduce the cost of PCs, Intel next year will offer Celeron processors in a pin-grid array package that plugs into a new socket that is an alternative to Slot 1. So far called simply '370-pin Socket,' the interface is not compatible with either Socket 7, the Pentium interface, or Socket 8, the Pentium Pro interface. It is meant to complement, not displace, the Slot 1 design, an Intel representative says.

Aiming to reduce the cost of PCs, Intel next year will offer Celeron processors in a pin-grid array package that plugs into a new socket that is an alternative to Slot 1.

So far called simply "370-pin Socket," the interface is not compatible with either Socket 7, the Pentium interface, or Socket 8, the Pentium Pro interface. It is meant to complement, not displace, the Slot 1 design, an Intel representative said.

The first CPUs in the new package will be 300MHz and 333MHz Celeron chips with 128K bytes of integrated Level 2 (L2) cache. The processors, developed under the code-name Mendocino, will also be available in Slot 1 packages.

The new socket will reduce manufacturing costs because it will not require the "goal post" mounting bracket of Slot 1 and will allow for a smaller heat sink.

This new package is just one technique Intel is developing to cut the cost of basic PCs -- those selling for less than $US1,200. The company has also developed smaller "MicroATX" motherboards and power supplies, and introduced a limited-functionality core-logic chip set, the 440EX, that is less expensive than the 440BX found in higher-performance PCs.

Intel is also working on higher levels of integration for its CPUs and chip sets, adding larger on-chip L2 caches to the CPU and graphics functions to the core logic.

For example, Intel will integrate 256K bytes of L2 cache on a mobile Pentium II processor, also scheduled for the first half of next year. Developed under the code-name Dixon, the CPU is smaller and less power-hungry than Pentium II processors with separate cache memory chips.

Complementing the 233MHz and 266MHz Mobile Pentium II chips introduced this quarter, Intel will offer a 300-MHz version later this year and a 333MHz CPU early next year.

Intel Corp., in Santa Clara, California, is at http://www.intel.com.

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