Pentium 4's new 478 pin packaging
PC Watch has been trickling out some great coverage of Spring IDF. Northwood (0.13 micron Pentium 4) will come in a 478 pin package unlike current Pentium 4 processors. Moreover, there will be a new packaging of the current Pentium 4 called Willamette-478 which will be released before Northwood. Both will require new motherboards. In addition to m478, Intel will unveil the FC-PGA2 format with IHS (intergrated heat spreader) sometime in the future. With Northwood and the 0.13 micron process, Intel is aiming to reduce the core voltage from its current 1.7V/1.75V down to 1.3V. This reduction is important as it will make the Pentium 4 more attractive to OEM makers and thus help make the P4 mainstream (or so they hope). Unlike Willamette's 256KB of on-die L2 cache, Northwood will have 512KB. This should help its performance when running business applications. Take a look at pictures of the new packaging here and here. On the right side of each picture is the new packaging. The length of the pins and pitch are noticeably smaller. Willamette-478 is scheduled for Q3. Northwood has been sampling since January and will appear in Q4. For more on the Pentium 4, read TR's epic review right here.