Intel Corp is responding to accelerating competition from clonemakers and the PowerPC RISC by speeding up its own programme of microprocessor introductions and price reductions, PC Week reports. First up is a 3.3V P54C Pentium set for April, which will deviate from the clock-doubling and tripling trend by clock oneandahalfing. The P54C is expected to […]
Intel Corp is responding to accelerating competition from clonemakers and the PowerPC RISC by speeding up its own programme of microprocessor introductions and price reductions, PC Week reports. First up is a 3.3V P54C Pentium set for April, which will deviate from the clock-doubling and tripling trend by clock oneandahalfing. The P54C is expected to come in versions with 90MHz and 75MHz clocks, with buses running at 60MHz and 75MHz respectively. Prices on these parts are now expected to fall by about 30% by the fourth quarter, say internal Intel documents seen by PC Week, where the company had been planning to ease the price down only 8% this year. Samples of the 90MHz/60MHz P54C Pentium list for $1,170, and will now go to $860 by October, where Intel had planned to drop the price only to $1,090. Prices of the existing 60MHz and 66MHz Pentium chips, the forthcoming 100MHz/33MHz P24C 80486DX4, and the existing 66MHz/33MHz 80466 will also fall 30% by the fourth quarter. Late in the second quarter, the paper hears, Intel will come out with the P24D, a 66MHz/33MHz 80486DX2 variant with a write-back internal cache, rather than the present write-through cache, a switch that should improve performance 15%. The difference is that with a write-through cache, data from memory is passed to the cache, which passes it on to the processor, where with a wrute-back cache, the data goes straight to the processor and is then written into the cache. Also for later this year is said to be the P22S, the first highly integrated 80486 for handheld devices, which is being developed with Intel’s partner on such things, VLSI Technology Inc. And early next year, Intel plans to offer Pentiums for notebooks with the P51, a 3.3V 75MHz/50MHz Pentium optimised for portables. And the end-1995 date we have reported for launch of the next generation P6 is one year earlier than originally planned. It should deliver three times the performance of a 60MHz Pentium, but integrates a daunting 6m transistors. On the OverDrive front, PC Week has indentified three processors: the P24T, clocked at an odd 83MHz, but with a 33MHz bus, should improve performance 70% when plugged into the OverDrive socket of a 66MHz 80486DX2 box; for 80486DX4 users, there will be a 100MHz/33MHz P24CT, based on the P54C Pentium, which should up performance by 50%. And some systems using the P54C Pentium will be able to accept a plug-in part code-named P54CM into the OverDrive socket and convert the machine to a dual processor capable of about 200 MIPS.