Intel produces its first 90nm chips
Rumors about Intel's Prescott chip may be swirling about, but
according to Intel, at least one thing is clear: the chip will be available
sometime this year. TR reader MJS alerted us to this story
at EET, reporting that the first of Intel's chips made with 90nm (a.k.a.
0.09 micron) process technology have rolled off the line at the
company's fab in Hillsboro, Oregon. The new chips built on this
technology are Prescott and Dothan, the follow-ups to current "Northwood"
P4 and "Banias" Pentium M, respectively. This news contradicts a previous report
indicating Dothan would be delayed. Intel says both
chips will be available for "revenue shipments" next quarter.
Both Prescott and Dothan will have twice the L2 cache of their
predecessors. Intel's 90nm process technology should allow for relatively cooler operation and greater clock speed headroombeyond 5GHz in the
case of Prescotton a 1066MHz front-side bus. More information about Prescott is available in this developer
guide, which details the chip's architectural enhancements, including
improved Hyper-Threading, new instructions, and larger caches. What the guide
does not say is whether Intel will call this transformed processor a
Pentium 4. All we know is that much
less evolutionary developments have prompted name changes from Intel
in the past.