November marks the introduction of a rather unique product from Intel, the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition. The processor core used in this Pentium 4 was originally meant for use in Intelís Xeon processors but the launch of the Athlon 64 motivated Intel to come up with an interim solution until Prescott was ready for launch. Although backed by a large 2MB cache and a 3.2GHz clockspeed the Extreme Edition is quickly dubbed the Emergency Edition as it fails to deliver a convincing victory over the Athlon 64 3200+. Intel, which was supposed to launch their next generation Pentium processor during this quarter, also keeps itís mouth shut about what is going on behind the scenes and whether a manufacturing problem could be holding back the new 90nm Pentium 4.
Fig 14. AMDís Fab 30 facility in Dresden, Germany. AMD's production line for 130nm processors.
In the meanwhile AMD seems to be prepping for yet another battle as they announced theyíll be building a new 65nm factory right next to their Fab 30 facility in Dresden, Germany. Thereís also rumors about an upcoming processor, dubbed the K9, which is to replace the current Athlon 64 with K8 processor core. This processor is to be manufactured using 90nm technology and should be available in 2005. Unfortunately AMD also announces that the availability of their 90nm processors will be postponed another quarter and should be shipping in the first quarter of 2004. This means that all Athlon 64 processors which are shipping this year will be manufactured using AMDís 130nm process at their Fab 30 facility in Dresden, Germany.
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