Intel is cranking up the clock on its newest processors faster than expected, and will release a 300MHz version of its month-old Celeron processor by the end of May.
It has also told OEMs that its upcoming Mendocino processor - the new generation of the Celeron design - will arrive in the fourth quarter with a clock speed of 333MHz, skipping the planned 300MHz first version. The chip will have 128Kbytes of integrated cache.
An Intel representative said that the company's .25 micron manufacturing process was ramping up rapidly and enabling it to miss out the 300MHz release.
That is likely to mean that the 266MHz Celeron, currently available, will drop in price when the 300MHz version is released.
Although Intel has been criticised over the performance of the Celeron, it is likely that the arrival of the Mendocino part, in Q4, will go some way to allay those doubts.
Reviewers of the Celeron have pointed out that it is a good platform for games machines but less ideal for business applications. Adding the 128Kbytes level two cache to the Mendocino product will help remedy this, while also adding some punch to the clock speed.
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