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Intel plans 333MHz, 400MHz PII chips

The Pentium II is barely three months old, but Intel Corp. is predicting a long life for the processor in servers, desktops and notebooks.

Intel this week offered a rare sneak peek at its plans for Deschutes, the code-name for a line of Pentium II processors built on a 0.25-micron process.

The kickoff begins early next year when Intel releases a 333MHz Pentium II for desktops. In the first half of the year, Intel will release a 350MHz or 400MHz version of the Pentium II that supports a 100MHz system bus as well as today's 66MHz bus, sources said.

The faster bus is critical to system performance. Today, bottlenecks occur when a cutting edge processor is communicating with components over the slow 66MHz bus.

The chip will be housed in the Slot 1 cartridge and will be geared toward mainstream desktops, entry-level servers and workstations.

In mid-1998, Intel will introduce Pentium II processors that plug into a so-called Slot 2 for servers. Slot 2 does not replace Slot 1; rather, Slot 2 is larger to accommodate a larger Level 2 cache that runs at the core clock speed of the processor.

All Slot 2 configurations will support a 100MHz system bus next year, and servers based on it will scale to a minimum of four processors, sources said.

Lastly, Intel will introduce Pentium II processors for portables around mid-year. The processors will be available in either a modified cartridge design (similar to slots but significantly smaller) or the Mobile Module. This is to accommodate both thick and thin notebooks.

The processors will be Intel's first portable-specific parts with integrated Level 2 cache.