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Intel to make ambitious claims for Prescott Pentium 4

Consumer Electronics Show Whispers in Eva's ear
Fri Jan 09 2004, 19:15
WHEN INTEL INTROS Pentium 4 Prescotts and a 3.40GHz Extreme Edition chip in early February, it will herald better hyperthreading, SSE software support and architectural changes to convince the world+dog to shift.

That's emerged from briefings it's given selected journalists prepared to keep their mouths shut here in Las Vegas over the last two days.

As we've already reported, the P4Es, which have 1MB of on die cache and are prepared on a shrunk 90 nanometer process, will come at speeds of 3.40GHz, 3.20GHz, 3GHz and 2.80GHz, displacing the current range of chips.

There's better hyperthreading, 12K micro operation instruction cache and those famous 13 new instructions. And the chips use strained silicon and low K CDO.

The 90 nano process includes seven layers of copper interconnect compared to six layers in the .13µ core, uses nickel rather than cobalt silicide, has 1.15u2 SRAM cells, and includes 193 nano lithography.

The 13 Louis Burns special opcodes look after thread synchronization, SIMD FP, video encoding, complex arithmetic and FP to integer conversion.

A chassis using a Prescott has to have enough vents and fewer airflow obstructions, so a chassis holding a Prescott has to be an approved chassis, and a heat sink has to be an approved heatsink.

Improvements in benchmarks including SPECfp_base2000, SPECint_base2000 and others compare a P4E at 3.40GHz against a 2.20GHz P4 and a 1.50GHz P4, and give between two and a half times better performance in various tests.

Intel is pushing video, audio and the like for all it's worth, and so claims that the improved hyperthreading can make encoding audio 30 per cent faster compared to a P4E at 3.40GHz with HT not enabled.

A Prescott with HT has a better branch predictor, better imul latency, extra WC buffers, a better branch predictor, the famous SSE3, and better shift-rotate latency*, Intel will claim.

The guys here in Vegas that whispered all this to me reckon that Intel's going to have to do a bit of clever marketing to stop people being confused between a 3.40GHz Pentium 4HT Extreme Edition and these pesky Prescotts. µ

* WE HAD ANOTHER word in there before - but it was a genuine mistake, and now fixed... Apologies.

See Also
How Prescott prices will shape up
Prescott ready to roll under Pentium 4 guise
Intel's 3.40GHz Extreme Edition to cost $999
Up to date roadmaps


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