Some day in the future the Intel Pentium 4 processor will have to retire, but behind the scenes its successor seems to be ready to take over.
Intel is currently developing a new processor, code-named Nehalem. This news was presented in an interview with Doug Carmean, managing engineer with Intel, that appeared on the company's Web site but has since been removed.
In the last year, Carmean, who was also one of the driving forces behind the Pentium 4, has been acting as head of the team of developers working on Nehalem. The new processor is designed from scratch and will not have anything in common with Pentium 4. Carmean strongly indicated that Nehalem will be marketed in 2004.
Meanwhile Intel is also developing a new security architecture, code-named LeGrande. The technology aims to establish a hardware environment that will entirely prevent external attacks, such as from a computer virus. The technology covers the chipset, the system memory as well as the hard disk drive and will also be incorporated into the new processor.
Until Nehalem emerges, an improved version of the NetBurst architecture, which is used in Pentium 4, will be implemented in a processor, code-named Prescott. This processor will be based on .09 micron technology in 300-millimetre wafers and will be ready for the market in the second half of 2003.