SAN MATEO - next year Intel plans to roll out flavours of its Pentium II processor to cover every system in the enterprise, ranging from notebooks to multiprocessor servers.
As part of that strategy, the company will unveil processor modules that will allow notebook vendors to shrink their wares and offer better graphics.
In addition, Intel is planing to deliver a separate set of Slot 2 modules that will lead to the development of four-way Pentium II servers.
The first notebook Pentium II processors, based on Intel's 0.25-micron Deschutes design, will be available in March or April of 1998 in Mobile Module format. Because this format has been used for Pentium MMX mobile processors, the Pentium II Mobile Module should help OEMs make a smoother transition from Pentium designs.
OEMs have been concerned that the Mobile Module is too large for the sleekest notebooks, but the Deschutes implementation of the Pentium II will also be available in a cartridge format, according to a company official, who described the unit as "a really small cartridge". These cartridges will enable systems as thin as 1.25in, industry sources said.
Later in 1998, the Pentium II will appear in another guise, a Mobile Module format that incorporates another connector to bring the Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) off the module. AGP gives the CPU direct access to a graphics accelerator, speeding performance.
As for desktops, Intel will continue its Slot 1 package for mainstream PCs and workstations with one or two CPUs.
The bigger the better
However, higher-performance systems demand larger Level 2 caches and circuitry to allow four processors in a system, and the existing Single Edge Cartridge (SEC) is too small to accommodate the additional features.
In the middle of 1998, Intel will unveil a modification of the SEC that plugs into Slot 2. Slot 2 processors will carry the name Pentium II, perhaps with an additional appellation, an Intel representative said. Slot 2 features a longer connector to support additional interface circuitry for multiprocessing.