Albert Yu, senior vice president of Intel's microprocessor products group, said today that a version of its Celeron processor using a brand new 370-pin socket design would arrive towards the end of the year.
Speaking on the eve of Intel's Developers Forum, Yu said that the primary reason for moving to the socket was because of cost considerations. The socket is aimed at the Basic PC end of the processor market.
Yu said: "We are introducing a Celeron later on this year with a lower cost packaging. The 370-pin socket will appear towards the end of this year. The logic of using the 370-pin socket is to save costs. Our intention is to move the Slot One architecture to a socket architecture in the long term."
Future products based on the socket will follow, Yu said. There was no reason for Intel to use its mainstream technology, the Socket Seven, for the Celeron because the bus is different, he said.
"Socket Seven is not just a physical socket but worked with the Pentium bus," he said. "You can't just crank up the clock speed."
Yu also said that by the middle of next year, Intel would be able to introduce .18 micron technology using six layers of metal, which would be cheaper and more compact.
Intel will also introduce its alternative approach to the problem IBM is solving by using copper in its processors. In the Intel design, layers four and five would have additional thickness to help diminish resistance, he said.
"My mother asked me why we weren't using copper," he said. "Copper does have lower resistivity but there is more than one way to get there. We've chosen to increase the thickness of aluminium to get the same result."
Yu said: "We're already designing product for .13 micron." He said that Intel was also at the stage where it was designing CPUs with over 200 million transistors but those would not be available until 2001.
Intel will continue to use the 486 instruction set for the foreseeable future. "Clearly there's a legacy in using old instruction sets but we haven't looked at that very aggressively," Yu said. "It's a little dangerous to change that. We are working very aggressively to get rid of system legacy components like ISA." ---------------------------------------------------------------- Get your free email from AltaVista at http://altavista.iname.com
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