I managed to dig up some information that Intel is already sampling its Prescott processor. The chips are not final yet, but in the second quarter Intel will start to send its new 90nm CPUs to its partners. Since the chips that are sent to design partners should be made on more or less mature fabrication process, the information fully corresponds to the fact that the 90nm manufacturing technology is to be finalised by the middle of the year.
The New Prescott Pentium 4 processors will feature:
800MHz Quad Pumped Bus, 1MB of L2 cache,and Hyper-Threading II technology,
the newcomer will also include additional instruction sets, known as PNI – Prescott New Instructions (SSE3 maybe) that are proposed to further accelerate processing of streams. In addition, sources indicated that there will be a number of different flavours of Prescott processors this year with core-clocks varying from 3.40GHz to 3.80GHz. Note, that in the latest Roadmap Update, Intel officially only indicated 3.40GHz Prescott processors by the year end and 3.60GHz and above CPUs in the first quarter 2004. So, either Intel is trying hard in order to roll-out its 3.80GHz chips by the end of 2003, or, the company simply looks through this opportunity at the moment, but no decisions have been made so far. However we should not expect the 3.80GHz Prescott products to come earlier than next year.
Understand that even Intel cannot boost the core-clock speeds of their CPUs due to possible electromigration processes described in this news-story. Electromigration that results in CPU malfunction is caused by heat and voltage increase. With thinner fabrication processes, the possibility of the so-called electromigration effect increases drastically, so, there may be a problem achieving higher clock-speeds of the CPUs without loosing their reliability.
Note: this information is unofficial.
News source: IEBeta.net