Intel names the day for Pentium II party

Intel will officially launch its highly anticipated Pentium II processor and a dozen vendors will show systems based on the chip at an event in New York on May 7. But the three flavors of the Pentium II - 233 MHz, 266 MHz, and 300 MHz - will not all be available in volume on the day of the announcement

Intel will officially launch its highly anticipated Pentium II processor and a dozen vendors will show systems based on the chip at an event in New York on May 7.

Intel executives will introduce the MMX-enabled Pentium Pros at the 200 Fifth Club in Manhattan, with a demonstration showcase following the announcement.

The demonstrations will feature all of the major vendors, including IBM, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Gateway, Dell, NEC, AST, and Micron.

The three flavors of the Pentium II - 233 MHz, 266 MHz, and 300 MHz - will not all be available in volume on the day of the announcement, according to sources. Systems using the 233-MHz version will be available in volume about four weeks after the announcement, with 266-MHz systems ramping up by the end of July and 300-MHz systems hitting the streets by September, most sources say.

Vendors are racing to market with their respective Pentium II models, trying to fill the channel for the anticipated demand. IBM claims to have the channel already full, but sources within the channel think high volumes will not be achieved until the end of May. Analysts agreed but think IBM has a leg up on the competition.

"Of the vendors in this market, IBM is in a very favorable position with regards to time to market," says John Dunkle, president of Workgroup Strategic Services. "They've been working very closely with Intel and should reach high volumes soon after the announcement."

IBM will include the Pentium II in offerings of both its IntelliStation and commercial desktop lines.

HP's Pentium II systems will be workstations introduced initially at speeds of 233 MHz and 266 MHz, then single and dual 300-MHz systems by the end of summer, industry sources said.

AST will introduce its Bravo LC 6233 MiniTower with the 233-MHz processor. The systems will include a 2G-byte hard drive, 32M bytes of RAM, a 16-speed CD-ROM drive, and 512K bytes of cache for $2,200.

Gateway has promised both 233-MHz and 266-MHz systems within one week of the announcement.

NEC will unveil a 233-MHz PowerMate model, and Micron will weigh in with its ClientPro XLU.

Intel Corp., in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at http://www.intel.com.

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