Intel has mapped out the way to improved, 0.13-micron versions of its Pentium III and Pentium 4 microprocessors, according to a report published by microprocessor analyst Bert McComas of Inquest Market Research.
The first chip, code named Tualatin, will be an improved version of the Pentium III, built using 0.13 micron technology, said McComas. It will be ready for production in the second or third quarter of next year, he said.
The 0.13 figure is a measure of the size of the smallest feature on the chip.
Smaller features allow the chip to operate at higher clock speeds and use less power. Versions of the Pentium III shipping today are made using a 0.18 micron production process. One micron is one thousandth of one millimeter.
Likewise, Northwood, a potential successor to the Willamette processor now known as Pentium 4, will ship in the third quarter of 2001, McComas said, basing his claims on an examination of Intel's road maps.
An Intel spokesperson, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Northwood and Tualatin were valid code names for improved versions of planned products, and that the improvement was the move to 0.13-micron production processes. However, the spokesperson cautioned, they are a long way into the future, and have not been officially fixed on the road map.