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Hot off the Press - News and Cmmentary
Friday May 7, 2004

P4 designers writing resumes, not code

Intel Corp. said it has canceled plans to produce its Tejas processor, the successor to today's Prescott-based Pentium 4 chip, so that development efforts can be focused on a more advanced technology that's making faster progress than expected.

You might remember that Intel's highly anticipated Pentium 4 refresh, code-named "Prescott," 3.2-GHz PF 3.20E (Prescott) which debutted in February , demonstrated a jump over earlier P4s but was still slightly lagging an Advanced Micro Devices Athlon 64 system in early tests by a number of Benchmark sites.

Another thorn in the side for the not so stellar Prescott was it’s unusually high power consumption, Prescott was something of a hotplate, and the same is believed to be true of Tejas and Jayhawk generations.

According to the AP wire story, the new processors, expected by 2005, will sport dual computing engines instead of the single core of today's Pentium 4 processors. The move will boost performance over existing hardware, Intel spokeswoman Laura Anderson said Friday.
"We're taking advantage of an opportunity to accelerate development of other products that we believe will meet end users' needs," she said.

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Today's single-core Pentium 4s are enabled with a technology, called Hyper-Threading, that enhances performance by essentially tricking the operating system into behaving as though there are two processors instead of one.

Anderson said the move to dual-core chips will offer more of such benefits.
"We've bolstered our design teams and roadmap plans to make that happen," she said. "It's kind of a complementary measure toward a number of other efforts we have in place."
Employees who were working on Tejas, the code name for the canceled project, will be reassigned.

"It's ... shifting over a lot of our design resources to focus on something that's going to deliver more value," she said.

A similar move is being considered for the next Xeon processors, which are designed for servers, Anderson said. Intel's Itanium processor, which is designed at high-end servers, remains on track to have dual-core capabilities in 2005.

The next-generation desktop chip is expected to be launched in 2005, with the laptop version hitting the market after that. Names and other details have not been disclosed.



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