Intel Corp has been forced to put another “delays ahead” sign across its roadmap, with the news that the 4GHz version of its Pentium processor will not ship until next year.
The 4GHz part had been due to ship by the end of this year, presumably in time for the holiday buying season.
But yesterday a spokeswoman said that to meet customer volume and quality expectations the launch was being delayed until the New Year.
The delay is just the latest misstep by the company. Since the beginning of this year it has delayed the launch of its Sonoma mobile platform from the second half of this year until 2005, recalled some of its Grantsdale chipsets just days after launch, and delayed its Dothan mobile chip.
Earlier this week, it emerged that CEO Craig Barrett had sent a memo around the company calling on executives and workers to smarten up their act. In the late 1990s a spate of manufacturing problems allowed AMD to gain market share at Intel’s expense.
Intel’s spokeswoman said yesterday that the delay had nothing to do with the vendor’s manufacturing process.
Intel’s fastest desktop chip is currently the 3.6GHz Pentium 4, introduced in June. While few desktop users are likely to find they are in desperate need of another 400Mhz of clockspeed between now and the end of the year, Intel’s line could begin to look a little stale between now and then. The vendor may look at adding other enhancements to its desktop line, such as extra cache or faster bus speeds, while it waits for the next jump in clock speed.
Intel’s spokeswoman said the vendor had updated OEMs on its roadmap. However, she refused to say whether the vendor would enhance its desktop processor range over the remainder of this year.