Another delay hits Xeon, this time the 450MHz version

Another delay hits Xeon, this time the 450MHz version

Intel last week confirmed another delay in the delivery of its Pentium II Xeon processor, this time affecting a 450MHz version of the chip that is due to ship later this year.

The chip giant will ship the 450MHz processor in the fourth quarter as planned, but only for use in workstations and servers that use one or two processors. Customers looking for powerful four-way servers using the 450MHz chip will have to wait until the beginning of 1999, said Intel spokeswoman Angie Windheim.

The company pushed back the release of the four-way compatible chip in order to carry out more testing, Windheim said.

Xeon is the Pentium II processor that Intel hopes will make it more of a player in the high-end computing market, but has caused problems for the chip maker since it was released June 29.

Xeon was released with two chipsets: the 440GX, which allows it to be used in one- and two-way systems, and the 450NX, which allows it to scale to four-processor servers and above. At least two bugs, or erratum, in the way Xeon works with the 450NX chipset forced Intel to postpone until earlier this month the release of two 400MHz versions of the chip for use in four-way servers.

Now the same fate seems to have befallen the 450MHz Xeon. Intel will release the processor with the 440GX chipset in the fourth quarter as planned, but has pushed back its release for use in four-way systems until early next year.

Besides boosting the clockspeed by 50MHz, the 450MHz processor also ups the performance boosting Level 2 cache memory in Xeon from up to 1MB in the 400MHz chip to 2MB.

Intel said no new bugs have been discovered in Xeon, but said the numerous configurations the chip can be used in means the testing process will take longer than expected.

"We decided to take more time to validate all the complex configurations for the 450NX," Intel's Windheim said.


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