AUGUST 22--Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, CA;www.intel.com) is set to launch its 2-GHz Pentium 4 processor on Aug. 27, the first day of its biannual Intel Developer Forum in San Jose, CA. It will also host a number of system vendors and software vendors, who will feature the 2-GHz processor at the debut. Louis Burns, Intel's vice president and general manager of the desktop group, will speak at the conference.
The 2-GHz Pentium 4 represents another speed bump for Intel, which is engaged in a processor battle with Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD; Sunnyvale, CA). While Intel has held the lead in pure clock speed since it introduced its Pentium 4 architecture, AMD continues to gain market share even during a down year. While AMD's share of the microprocessor market is just 22% based on a report from Mercury Research of Scottsdale, AZ, the company was the first to break the 1-GHz barrier late in 1999 and brought renewed vigor to the company's mission.
Since the Pentium 4 made its debut in late 2000, it has recaptured the speed lead in the microprocessor competition between the two companies. It is a title that Intel seems unlikely to relinquish, since many industry observers believe the Pentium 4 architecture will be capable of even more-significant speed improvements once the company moves the processor from 0.18-μm process technology to 0.13-μm technology.
Intel is also expected to reduce prices on its existing line of 1.8-, 1.7-, and 1.6-GHz Pentium 4 processors. One industry analyst believes prices could be reduced on these processors by as much as 50%. An Intel executive said there would be an aggressive campaign to market the Pentium 4 in the second half of this year.