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Intel's Roadmap: Processor Roadmap

Chipset Roadmap

3rd Quarter 19974th Quarter 19971st Quarter 19982nd Quarter 19982nd Half 1998
440FX Pentium Pro / Pentium II Chipset
450GX Pentium Pro Chipset
430TX Pentium Chipset
440LXPentium II Chipset
440BX w/ PIIX4Pentium II Chipset
440BX w/ PIIX6Pentium II Chipset
450NXDeschutes Slot 2 Chipset


The good old 440FX Pentium Pro / Pentium II chipset will be the first current one to disappear. In the first quarter next year when AGP and SDRAM support will become standard it will be replaced by the 440LX and 440BX chipset.


The oldest of the current chipsets, designed as Pentium Pro server solution will finally disappear when the Deschutes and the 450NX Slot 2 chipset will come out in the second quarter next year. It's currently the only chipset that supports quad CPU configurations, which makes it inevitable for high end servers until the Deschutes Slot 2 comes out .


The 430TX Pentium chipset is the only Socket 7 chipset you can find on Intel's new roadmap. Nobody speaks of the 430HX chipset anymore, which shows that it will be out of production pretty soon as well as the anyway unnecessary 430VX chipset. Since Intel does not plan to launch any other Socket 7 chipset anymore, the 430TX will be produced as long as Intel produces Socket 7 CPUs .


The 440LX Pentium II chipset will be launched in a few weeks on August 26 1997 . It will come with AGP and SDRAM support to increase the performance of Pentium II systems. Unfortunately AGP is still suffering several problems, e.g. the delay of Windows NT 5 and Memphis, so that you will need some cheesy VxDs supplied from Intel to take at least some kind of advantage of AGP until the above mentioned operating systems come out. We are anyway only talking of AGP rev. 1.0, which will probably go through the same start problems as PCI several years back. Currently I can't see any significant performance advantage of AGP (see upcoming review) and I hope it will improve until early next year.


The 440BX Pentium II chipset, planned to be launched in the second quarter next year will finally give us the 100 MHz bus clock , but it will support the good old 66 MHz as well of course. It will come in two different flavors, either with the PIIX4 (PCI ISA Interface Xelerator) known already from the 430TX chipset or later next year with the PIIX6, which will support 'FireWire' or '1394' as well as the I2 O server/multi processor extension . The 440BX will probably only support SDRAM and of course include AGP .


The 450NX Deschutes Slot 2 chipset will finally replace the 450GX Pentium Pro chipset for server platforms. This chipset will be the first for Slot 2 and hence only run with the Slot 2 Deschutes CPU. It will support up to quad CPU systems, I2 O, probably '1394' as well and of course AGP . This chipset is running at 100 MHz bus clock and since the Deschutes is not planned to run at a slower bus clock it might not even support 66 MHz. Intel will have to do a sensible timing to get the 450NX as well as the Deschutes ready for the 2nd quarter 1998, since both components depend on each other.