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Intel Brings Its First 64-Bit Chips To Market
Intel Debuts 64-Bit Chips 18 Months After AMD

Intel added its first 64-bit Pentium 4 microprocessors to their price lists, marking their entrance in the market.  Four versions of the Intel Pentium 4 6XX series were announced at speeds up to 3.6-GHz, a frequency grade lower than the existing 5XX series. Prices will range from $224 to $605. Intel also added the 3.73-GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition to its lineup, a $999 chip that is fabricated on a finer 90-nm process than its older 130-nm P4EE components. <p>

 

 

In addition to Intel's 64-bit EM64T support, the new Pentium 4 chips also support the Execute Disable Bit, an additional megabyte of level-2 cache, and the Enhanced SpeedStep capability included on Intel's mobile processors. On the other hand, rival AMD began shipping its first 64-bit Athlon 64 processors in September of 2003, almost 18 months ago.

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The 6XX series will likely be the last major enhancement to the Pentium 4 line before the introduction of the Pentium D "Smithfield," Intel's first dual-core part. Although Intel executives have indicated that the Pentium D won't necessarily replace the Pentium 4, analysts have suspected that the single-core products will eventually be pushed down into the Celeron range for value PCs, while Intel attempts to persuade OEMs to adopt dual-core designs. Both Intel and AMD are still awaiting the final versions of Microsoft's 64-bit Windows initiative, although the release candidate of the software is rumored to be available as early as next month.

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The Intel 3.6-GHz Pentium 4 660 costs $605, while the 3.4-GHz 650 is priced at $401. According to Intel's price list, the 3.2-GHz Pentium 4 640 and the 3.0-GHz Pentium 4 630 will be priced at $273 and $224, respectively. Major online retailers appear to be charging about a $30 premium for the Pentium 4 660, while the premiums for the Intel 640 are a more modest $15 or so. <p>

 

About Jeremy Geelan
Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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