It looks like that PCI glitch with the 850 chipset may not be the only problem Intel faces getting the Pentium 4 chip to market. According to documents leaked from Intel's Fab 18 (Qiryat-Gat plant in Israel) and printed in the Israeli paper Haaretz, there are only 2 steppers in the world that are capable of manufacturing crucial components in the Pentium 4 design. Both of those steppers are at Fab 18, and only one is operational.
The report goes on to state that the P4 was meant to be produced on new machines, which were not delivered on time, forcing Intel to use the old steppers for production. Right now, P4 yields are at 70%, compared to an 80% yield for PIII processors.
It seems Intel can't catch a break lately. You have to wonder how problems like this will affect the P4 when it finally is released, hopefully in November. How will prices and speed grades reflect the problems they've run into in manufacturing? With the size of this chip and the heatsink it supposedly requires to run properly, there could be real trouble ahead for the Pentum 4. Especially with the competition it'll face from AMD's 1.2GHz parts and DDR SDRAM boards. Guess we'll just have to wait and see. Caught this over at The Register.
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