Intel has begun to reveal more of its roadmap for successors to Pentium II, and for the future of the IA-32 architecture beyond the IA-64 Merced.
With the new designs, expected from 1999 through to 2001, Intel appears to some extent to be making increased efforts to segment the market, and in other ways to downplay the importance of Merced.
The successor to the Pentium II is codenamed Foster, and is targeted to hit clock speeds of a gigahertz by late 2000 or early 2001. It will be aimed at workstations and servers, replacing the PII Xeon. It is also expected to run some 32-bit apps faster than Merced - an insurance policy for Intel if Merced fails to shine, or if IA-64 software is stalled in development.
Willamette will come in under Foster, aimed at the $2,000 and $3,000 desktop PC and workstation markets. Like Foster it will use a new 32-bit microarchitecture. Both chips will be 0.18 micron from the off.
Intel also has plans to fill in the gaps around this little lot and Merced. Tanner, the PII implementation using Katmai 3D technology, will be out early next year, followed by Cascades, the 0.18 micron PII implementation. And the Merced's follow-up, McKinley, is due out at 900MHz in late 2001.
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