Celeron to replace Pentium III?

PROM is reporting that Intel may be accelerating the release of the Celeron 1GHz. Previous roadmaps showed that Intel was planning a Coppermine-based Celeron 1GHz for Q1 2002 and a Tualatin-based Celeron for Q2 2002, but Intel has reportedly begun testing the new desktop Celeron 1GHz already. The new Celeron will run on an 133MHz FSB. If this is true, the Celeron 1GHz may be out as early as Q4, which could have important ramifications for Intel.

Tualatin has shown signs of eclipsing the Pentium 4's performance, and the i845 Brookdale SDR won't help much in that regard. In order for Intel to stave off further embarrassment, PROM is speculating that Intel may effectively kill off the Pentium III brand name for desktops when the i845 Brookdale is finally released in the fall. The PIII (Tualatin) will continue to exist in the mobile and server markets, but Intel will take the mature P6 core and re-introduce it into the market as the new Celeron.

This move would leave the Pentium 4 and Celeron as Intel's two desktop processors. The de-emphasis of the PIII / Celeron—Intel could now make less of them—would allow Intel to focus on increasing the P4's market share. Does that sound plausible? Publications like The Register, The Inquirer, and EBN have all hinted that Intel will be making a major change in its roadmap. This could get interesting, so stay tuned.

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