Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Jan 10, 2002
Corporate - New Products & Services
Celeron to replace earlier versions of Pentium 3
BANGALORE, Jan. 9
WITH Intel's launch of its latest version of Pentium 4, with a clock speed of 2.2 GHz on Tuesday, the company expects a repositioning of its range of chips.
The company expects a new band to emerge with new chip P4 2.2 at the highest level in terms of price and performance; followed by the P4 1.7 and 1.8, the ``mainstream'' version; the Celeron 1.2 GHz replacing Pentium 3; and the 950MHz Celeron processor for entry level machines.
The marketshare of Pentium 3 is expected to drop drastically. The drop is not directly linked to the launch but relates to Intel's plan to push Celeron-based systems offering the same performance at lower prices.
"Celeron 1.2 is comparable to Pentium 3 1GHz, and offers a better price performance, " Intel General Manager, Internet Solutions Group, Mr G.B. Kumar, told Business Line.
The company is planning a seeding program to push Celeron and counter its perception in the market as a lower-end chip. The significant price difference should help its market acceptance, feels the company. While the Pentium 3 processor (1 GHz) costs $ 139, and Celeron 1.2 GHz costs $ 99.
The difference in pricing was a result of ``internal pricing policy,'' said Mr Kumar. The new chip Pentium 4 2.2, supports DDR memory and will be positioned somewhere between Pentium 4 with RDRAM memory and Pentium 4 SDRAM.
The DDR chip was half as expensive as the RDRAM chip and twice as good in performance as the SDRAM chip, Mr Kumar said, representing a ``reasonable balance between price and performance.'' Most of the benefits that P4 2.2 offers come from the 0.13 micron (the gap between two transistors on a chip) technology that has been used for the first time, instead of the earlier 0.18 micron technology. It saves silicon real estate and makes the chip smaller the chip can accommodate twice as many dies as the 0.18 micron chip which results in a larger level 2 cache memory of 512 KB; the wafer is smaller making the dissipation of power lower compared to P4 2.0; and the cost is lower.
The company plans to leverage on the size and the power dissipation aspect to come out with mobile chips for notebooks and laptops. A version for the Xeon processor (for servers) is also on the cards.
P4 2.2 will support digital media, video streaming, recordable DVDs and etc make experience better, according to the company.
P4 2.2 would form the foundation for all future microprocessor innovations, Mr Kuamr said. It is the result of the company's continued investment in R&D despite the bad shape of the economy. Intel invested $ 4.2 billion in R&D this year.
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