Intel has disclosed further details of its Covington chip, due for release in April. The low-end chip, first revealed by PC Week last December, is a version of the Pentium II aimed at the sub-$1,000 (#602) or "segment zero" PC market. Intel also plans to produce a low-cost chipset, the 440LX-R, with reduced functionality to lower design costs, and a smaller motherboard spec called the microATX designed for mini-tower PCs. Intel is also looking into alternative packaging options to fit its low-end processors into the Slot 1 interface, which could render Socket 7 obsolete. An Intel spokeswoman confirmed that Covington will initially run at a clock speed of 266MHz and use the same 66MHz bus speed as Intel's current line of processors, but will not contain any Level 2 cache. The L2 cache is an onboard memory chip that boosts the chip's performance, but is traditionally one of the most expensive components. The chip will be built using the new 0.25 micron process that Intel has recently introduced, and which is also used for the 333MHz Deschutes processor. Intel is also considering integrating other functions such as video, sound and modem capabilities into future versions of the chip.
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