Pentium 4, we hardly knew ye

Intel is asking customers to place final orders for several of its Pentium 4 chips
Written by John G. Spooner, Contributor

Intel’s Pentium 4 is on borrowed time. The chipmaker, which was first unveiled the Pentium 4 at Comdex in 2000, is preparing a retirement party for the processor.

Intel’s Product Change Notification service has, for example, has told its customers they must place their final orders for Pentium 4 600 chips by May 4. Those wishing to order Pentium D 820 or Celeron D 326, 346, 351 and 355 processors must get their orders in by April 6.

The shift comes about as Intel works to move its processor production from 90nm to 65nm and, at the same time, to retire its NetBurst Architecture, the circuitry that underlies the Pentium 4, Pentium D, Celeron D and others, in favor of its more power-efficient Core Microarchitecture. Core Microarchitecture forms the basis for processors such as it's Core 2 Duo. Based on the improvements in power efficieny and performance offered by the Core family and the lackluster power-performance ratio of some NetBurst chips, I don’t think anyone will argue with the decision.

The Pentium brand name will live on, emblazoned on Core Architecture circuitry, according to reports by DailyTech. Indeed, even though Pentium has now become associated with Intel's mid-range of chips, the company has spent too much time and money building the brand name to let it fade away completely. The Pentium 4’s time may be near, but it seems premature do away with Pentium name entirely.

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