Intel is set to change the ground rules on its architecture once more with the introduction of a modified slot design later this year.
An Intel representative confirmed today that the company would move to a new design dubbed SECC 2, a leaner version of the current Slot One packaging.
"This is the mark two version of Slot One," he said. "It's the current package with the backing plate taken off so the heat sink can be attached directly to the processor."
There are two reasons for the change to the Pentium II cartridge. Firstly, it will cut down the cost of the surrounding packaging, producing cost savings for Intel.
Secondly and more importantly, it is a result of the faster process technology Intel is currently developing. As it moves from .25micron technology to .18micron and then to .13micron manufacturing, heat becomes less of an issue so there is no need to wrap the chip with what one OEM described as a 'waffle machine'.
Higher clock speeds are also likely to emerge from the introduction of SECC 2, but the move has no connection with the 370-pin Socket Intel is readying for next year. That is intended to bring the cost of manufacturing and production down, to enable Intel to compete the more successfully in the consumer space with its lower end rivals AMD, Cyrix and IDT/Centaur.
Joe D'Elia, senior chip analyst at Dataquest UK, said: "This results in a product that will be cheaper to build."
He added that, although Intel's advances in process technology did result in heat reductions, higher clock speeds to some extent cancelled those out.
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