Intel Springs New Chipsets For PCs

Intel Wednesday took the wraps off of three new Intel Pentium 4 processors and a trio of chipsets designed for corporate and mainstream consumer PC users.

And vendors like IBM, Dell Computer, Gateway and Acer quickly jumped on the bandwagon with individual announcements of desktop models starting under $1,000.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip making giant said its new Intel Pentium 4 processors — 2.80C, and 2.60C, and 2.40C GHz — come equipped with its Hyper-Threading Technology and an advanced 800 MHz system bus.

Also launched today were the Intel 865-series chipsets (formerly code-named Springdale) including the 865G, the 865PE and the Intel 865P,(once known as Canterwood) which supports Intel’s slower 400MHz and 533MHz system buses.

The Springdale series comes with dual channel DDR400 memory support, AGP8X and internal support for Serial ATA/RAID and a new architecture designed to increase Gigabit Ethernet networking performance. The chipsets are designed to eventually work with its next-generation Pentium 4 processor, code-named Prescott.

The 865G chipset marks the beginning of the new Intel Stable Image Platform Program (previously code-named Granite Peak) unveiled at the Intel Developer Forum in February. Intel said the goal was to give vendors the same hardware and software drivers for at least 12 months to help simplify and stabilize upgrade purchases for corporate PC buyers. Intel said its next chipset family, code-named Grantsdale, won’t come out until 2004.

“In choosing Intel Pentium 4 Processor with HT Technology PCs, corporate IT organizations get more PC performance and responsiveness while minimizing the impact of such essential background tasks as virus checking, e-mail encryption and file compression,” Intel vice president Louis Burns said in a statement.

Granite Peak incorporates a new generation of integrated graphics, named Intel Extreme Graphics 2, and is targeted at the high-volume business and consumer desktop market segments. The chipset also offers a dedicated networking bus based on Intel’s new Communications Streaming Architecture (CSA). CSA works in conjunction with the new Intel PRO/1000 CT Desktop Connection.

In 1,000-unit quantities, the new Intel Pentium 4 processors range in price from $178 to $278.

For computer makers and system integrators, Intel also announced availability of three desktop motherboards in the ATX form factor, and two in the smaller micro-ATX form factor.

Systems and motherboards with these processors and chipsets are currently shipping in volume from a variety of computer and motherboard manufacturers worldwide

PC vendors are already jumping onto Intel’s 800 MHz bus.

Acer said its Veriton 7600G incorporates the Intel 865G chipset and is priced starting at $949. Gateway is promoting its Springdale lineup in desktop models like its 500-series PCs for $999. Dell and IBM are expected to follow suit.