As predicted three weeks ago on the Newswire, the lower general cost of the PC platform means that Intel will introduce a kludge for the Pentium II platform, the chip giant confirmed today.
Pat Gelsinger, general manager and VP of desktop systems at Intel US, said his company would even offer a PII aimed at the sub-$500 market, if such a market was to emerge.
At a briefing for European journalists, Gelsinger said: "We will create low end versions of the Pentium II which will be in the sub $1,000 range. There's a variety of things that need to be done. You need to make motherboards, packaging and every aspect to reduce costs."
He said: "We will re-architect the PII and the system it will go into so you will see new form factors and different chassis designs."
That, he said, will happen in the first half of next year.
It was all to do with the lowering costs of PCs, Gelsinger claimed.
He said that it was true that machines at the sub-$1,000 level represented a large proportion of purchases over the last year and $799 systems were also popular.
But he doubted whether people would become enamoured of the sub-$500 PC.
Gelsinger said: "Almost all of the volume has moved to the $999 PC. I don't think sub $500 PCs will be successful. It will be left over inventory or trade offs."
Segment Zero (less than $1,000 PCs) had emerged this year. "The high end has gone higher, the low end lower, and the middle has been squeezed," he said.
He said: "Intel is very committed to delivering superior products. There will be PIIs in sub-$1,000 PCs next year.Fully integrated CPUs are not a good idea but we do need more integration."
That meant end users will see several cut down PIIs, as previously reported here, some of which will lost their second level cache. Gelsinger suggested there could be as many as three different designs.
Intel is set to slash the cost of the standard PII at the end of January.
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