Klamath is no more. Intel has officially confirmed the name of its new sideways processor card, now probably expected to arrive in July, as the Pentium II. The processor card include Pentium Pro chips and onboard cache, as well as MMX extensions and Gateway 2000 said a month ago the machines will be positioned as machines for consumers later on in the year.
A spokesperson from Intel confirmed the spelling of the name. She said it should be described only with Roman numerals and not as number 2.
But that drew instant fire from hardware vendors. One, an Intel-only first tier supplier who declined to be named, said it was a cynical marketing move intended to fool consumers into thinking Klamath-based machines were a follow on to Intel Pentium MMX chips.
Chris Bakolas, technical director at Dan Technology, said: "It's more clever than interesting. I hope people are not conpletely confused. I hope people don't think they can put a Pentium I into a Pentium II machine, the socket is completely different."
That was not the view of the Mitsubishi Electric PC Division, formerly called Apricot. Keith Corbett, marketing director at the company, said: ?I?m getting a little weary of the whole subject. To be honest I don?t think users will be in the dark. The pros and cons have been well aired.?
He said: ?Obviously Pentium is a very strong brand and it makes sense to leverage that.? But he refused to be drawn on whether the sideways slot on a new motherboard design was a natural upgrade for users who had bought either Pentium or Pentium MMX based machines.
?It?s got performance going for it,? he said. ?As we all know it has a different socket slot. It?s got performance going for it and there will be cost implications. The motherboard?s going to be a bit more expensive.? He said that if Intel had called the chip design a Sextium, users would be confused but calling it Pentium was a logical marketing decision. Apricot will demo a Pentium II machine at Cebit.
But Keith Warburton, executive director of the Personal Computer Association (PCA), described Intel?s efforts as an attempt to lock out competition.
He said: ?A lot of product announcements are made to spoil the competition. It effectively closes out competitor processor manufacturers. Intel started out as a processor manufacturer. Intel is going after everybody?s hearts and minds with its Intel Inside programme and and its cooperative marketing programme is the largest in the world.?
This spring, competitors AMD and Cyrix will introduce MMX chips which use non-Intel motherboard designs and are socket compatible with Intel?s old designs.
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