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A Sneak Peak at Intel's 65 nm Pentium 4


Finally, this seems to be the Pentium 4 processor we would have loved to have seen a year ago.

Though the Cedar Mill sample we were borrowed from a third-party whose name we will not disclose is an early qualification sample and still somewhat away from production-grade silicon, it is apparent that Intel's promises regarding its 65- nm production process' future will likely see fruition.

Not only has the production process been modernized: Intel is going to produce 65-nm chips in Hillsboro, Oregon (D1C, D1D), Chandler, Arizona (Fab 22) and Leixlip, Kildare, Ireland (Fab 24). Also, Intel managed to implement energy-saving features such as sleep transistors that apparently help to bring down leakage currents and, finally, heat dissipation. We still can't talk much about virtualization technology (VT) today as this is something that cannot possibly be reviewed by just running some benchmarks within a couple of days.

Those of you who may be disappointed by the lack of performance gains should keep in mind that Intel might easily be able to finally add faster Pentium 4 processors at 4+ GHz if there is market demand. At the end of the day, the TDP of 86 Watts is still pretty far away from the 130 W that today's performance FMB would allow for.

With the performance per Watt level Intel is obviously capable of offering by the end of this or the beginning of next year, the Pentium 4 based on Cedar Mill also has bright prospects of being used for a tremendous number of Viiv based consumer system solutions which is a space that still requires addressing by AMD. Get going, Texas, because Intel is almost back on the road.