433 Celeron chip will ship early

Intel is accelerating the rollout of its next Celeron processor.

Following closely on the expected late-February release of its 450MHz and 500MHz Pentium III, the Californian company plans to ship a new 433MHz Celeron on March 15, according to sources. The processor was originally scheduled for release in the second quarter. A 466MHz Celeron is expected to follow later in the first half.

Both new chips are expected to utilise 66MHz system bus architectures, sources said. They will join the 366MHz and 400MHz desktop and 266MHz and 300MHz mobile Celerons introduced in January. Coinciding with the new 433MHz chip, Intel will drop prices on existing Celerons by 15 to 20 percent, sources said. A 400MHz Celeron using Intel's 370 pin plastic pin grid array package, for example, would fall in price from $158 (£100) to about $120 (£70), the sources said.

Intel officials in Santa Clara declined to comment.