Intel is looking to quickly phase out the Pentium III desktop PC processor this autumn as it ramps up production of Pentium 4 in computers with a mainstream price point, the company confirmed today.
According to industry sources, Intel plans to stop taking orders for the Pentium III desktop processor as of 7 December. Intel would not comment on the exact date that the chip would disappear. An Intel spokesman said that while Pentium III support will continue for some long-term Pentium III customers, such as governments, the focus will now definitively shift to Pentium 4.
Intel has been pushing Pentium 4 towards the mainstream for several months through a program of aggressive price cuts, but its efforts have been hindered by the processor's ability to work only with relatively expensive, next-generation Rambus memory (RDRAM). As of today, however, Pentium 4 is available with Intel's 845 chipset, which uses cheaper SDRAM, paving the way for Pentium 4 to become the mainstream PC chip.
"The Intel 845 broadens the Pentium 4 processor family by delivering support throughout the mainstream market segment for the advanced, and ever-evolving end-user PC usage models," said Louis Burns, Intel vice president and general manager, Desktop Products Group, in a statement. "I fully expect that this will become the next high-volume mainstream platform for IT departments worldwide."
Pentium III will continue as a mobile chip, with the recently introduced 0.13-micron Pentium III-M mobile processor moving into a low-cost Celeron incarnation later this year.
See Chips Central for the latest headlines on processors and semiconductors.
See the Hardware News Section for full coverage.
Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Click on the TalkBack button and go to the Chips Central forum