Intel will delay the launch of its Pentium 4-based Xeon processor for workstations and servers because of technical problems, the company has revealed.
The problem is said to be not with the chip, codenamed Foster, but with the so-called daughter card on which the processor is mounted.
An Intel representative said a fix for the problem had already been found, but that a further delay to the launch of the processor, possibly until June, is now likely.
Packaged in a similar format to the PIII Xeon, the P4-based Xeon was set to ship this week. Boasting clock rates in excess of 1.4Ghz, it is aimed at single and dual processor machines.
The announcement came just one week after rival AMD was forced to hold back its 64-bit Hammer processor to allow it to incorporate new silicon on insulator (SOI) manufacturing technology onto the chip.
Developed by IBM, SOI adds a layer of oxide material between the transistor and the silicon it rests on inside a chip. This process insulates the transistor, and reduces the amount of energy it loses, allowing it to run faster and consume less power. Hammer is now not expected to ship until the latter part of 2002.
Separately, motherboard and processor vendor VIA claimed it will come to an agreement with Intel by the end of June to release a double date rate memory motherboard for the Pentium 4. Intel has been reluctant to grant VIA rights to produce the chipset as it is tied into making Pentium 4 motherboards with more expensive Rambus memory.
VIA also has confirmed details of its latest processor technology, codenamed C5X. It will be the eventual successor to Ezra, which the company will install into its latest range of C3 processors.
The C5X chip will take VIA over the 1Ghz mark and will feature 256Kb of on-die level 2 cache and support for Intel's SSE instructions. It will be manufactured at 0.13 microns and is expected to debut at 1.2Ghz early in 2002.
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