CHIP FIRM Intel told its customers a little while ago that it would introduce a stepping for its Prescott chip, E0, in Q3. And according to sources at those customers, it's confirmedit will ship that stepping soon. The features included in the Prescott E0 stepping are the NX Bit (no execute memory protection), an enhanced halt state (C1E), and thermal monitoring 2 (TM2).
The first of these protects machines to some extent from viruses by preventing code execution from certain memory pages, and is already implemented in AMD's 64-bit processors. The stepping is only for LGA775 Pentium 4s and Celeron Ds, and the BIOS has to recognise the presence of the NX feature and let you enable or disable it. Intel has told its customers that PAE 36 is needed to support the NX bit for IA-32, and validati The enhanced halt state kicks off when an operating system goes into idle mode, and will lower power consumption. This is similar to AMD's Cool'n'Quiet.
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News source: The Inq