JANUARY 8--Intel Corporation (Santa Clara, CA; www.intel.com) has introduced its highest-performing Pentium 4 processor, running at 2.2 GHz, or 2.2 billion cycles per second. Built using Intel's most advanced manufacturing technologies, the processor sets the stage for a new class of high-performance PCs that power increasingly popular digital music, photography and video uses, as well the latest applications being developed for the workplace.
The 2.2 GHz milestone comes at a time when nearly 450 million people use PCs that run at 700 MHz or less. While those PCs were state of the art two to four years ago, they predate the MP3 revolution, streaming video on the Internet, recordable DVDs, and the online gaming phenomenon. The most recent data from InfoTrends Research Group Inc. shows that 33% of online households own a digital camera. By 2005, Forrester Research says that 92% of US online households will create and share personal multimedia content.
The new Pentium 4 processor is built on the semiconductor industry's most advanced manufacturing technology, Intel's 0.13-μm fabrication process, using highly efficient copper interconnects. Using this technology, Intel was able to increase the chip's on-board memory (called level-two cache) while reducing overall processor size by over 30%. With Intel's 0.13-μm process technology, it is possible to build circuits so small that 55 million transistors can be placed on each chip. It would take almost 1000 of these "wires" placed side-by-side to equal the width of a human hair.
The Pentium 4 processor at 2.2 GHz, with 512-Kbyte level-two cache, is available now and priced at $562 in 1000-unit quantities.