After Pentium Pro comes Pentium II

The official name of Intel's MMX multimedia enhanced follow-up to the Pentium Pro family of processors will be Pentium II. Systems based on Pentium II, previously code-named Klamath, aimed at the business market will be available later in this year's first half, Intel says. The first iterations of the new chip family are expected to run at 233 MHz and 266 MHz, faster than the Pentium Pro family which tops out at 200 MHz.

The official name of Intel's MMX multimedia enhanced follow-up to the Pentium Pro family of processors will be Pentium II.

The name builds on the equity of the chip giant's Pentium and Pentium Pro trademarks, according to an Intel statement.

Systems based on Pentium II, previously code-named Klamath, aimed at the business market will be available later in this year's first half, Intel says.

The first iterations of the new chip family are expected to run at 233 MHz and 266 MHz, faster than the Pentium Pro family which tops out at 200 MHz, observers say.

However, Intel recently said that in laboratory tests it has run chips based on the same architecture at clock-speeds as high as 451 MHz.

In addition to adding the MMX instruction set, the Pentium II chips will also come in a brand new packaging format that Intel calls the Single Edge Contact cartridge.

The SEC cartridge will not be compatible with existing Pentium Pro boards in which the chip fits into the 387-pin Socket 8. Instead, the cartridge will be connected to a 242-pin Slot 1, much like a riser card, sources said.

The new cartridge design will require systems manufacturers to implement new motherboards, but Intel promised that it will use the new cartridge form factor for some time to come.

Several Taiwanese motherboard makers have already received samples of the new chip, but have yet to outline product plans as Intel is requesting its partners to keep any announcements under wraps, sources say.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at its World Wide Web site at http://www.intel.com/.

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