An internal document from Intel has confirmed that its Merced chip will not now be released until 2000, while other details have emerged of its future strategy for the Pentium II and Pentium Pro families.
Intel will release a 300MHz Pentium Pro unit this August while its next generation Deschutes family is still on target for January next year. The company has decided to retain the Pentium II brand name for Deschutes.
Before that, it will unveil three Pentium II (Klamath) units on 3 May, the Pentium II 233/66, 266/66 and 300/66.
Although OEMs who have received the document from Intel claimed today that no prices were likely to be announced until 3 May - as the chip giant attempts to steal the thunder from clone chipmaker AMD and its rival offerings - an Intel source revealed pricing details of the Pentium IIs to be introduced next week. Prices include heatsink and fan, with ECC memory costing another $5. According to him, the 233/66MHz unit with 512Kbytes cache costs $649, the 266MHz unit $780 and the 300MHz unit $1,960.
The first Deschutes unit, to be called the Pentium II 233/100, will be released in early January next year while Intel will introduce a set of Pentium II benchmarks on 3 May, to combat figures from AMD.
Intel will attempt to stop AMD eating into its market share by slashing prices over the next four months, while it will also push hard on the marketing front, claiming that its dual independent bus (DIB) architecture beats speeds on AMD Socket 7 architecture.
In an attempt to prevent details leaking, Intel has now introduced a serial number system for its presentations, the same source said.
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