Aiming to reduce the cost of basic PCs, Intel next year will offer Celeron processors in a pin-grid array (PGA) package that plugs in to a new socket that is an alternative to Slot 1.
So far, the 370-pin Socket's interface is not compatible with either Socket 7, the Pentium interface, nor Socket 8, the Pentium Pro interface. It is meant to complement, not displace, the Slot 1 design, according to an Intel representative.
"We are not moving away from Slot 1," the representative said.
The first central processing units (CPUs) in the new package will be 300MHz and 333MHz Celeron chips with 128KB of integrated Level 2 (L2) cache. The processors, developed under code name Mendocino, will also be available in Slot 1 packages.
The new socket will reduce manufacturing costs because it will not require the "goal post" mounting bracket of Slot 1 and will allow for a smaller heat sink.
The company has also developed smaller "MicroATX" motherboards and power supplies, and introduced a limited-functionality core-logic chip set -- the 440EX -- that is less expensive than the 440BX found in performance PCs.
Intel is also working on higher levels of integration for its CPUs and chip sets, adding larger on-chip L2 caches to the CPU and adding graphics functions to the core logic.
For example, Intel will integrate 256KB of L2 cache on a mobile Pentium II processor. Developed under the code name Dixon, the CPU is smaller and less power-hungry than Pentium II processors with separate cache memory chips.