Intel is planning to increase the core voltage on its Pentium 4 chip with the intention of raising the processor's clock speed.
The core voltage will be raised to 1.75v, a small increase on the current 1.70v setting, but the change could squeeze up to another 200Mhz out of the chip.
The move would be a boost for Intel because its 1.7Ghz Pentium 4 processor is scheduled for release in April. Increasing the core voltage could also reduce the failure rate of chips that do not reach market speeds under Intel testing, thereby increasing yields and lowering chip prices.
Traditionally, upping the core voltage in a product is the last attempt to increase clock speed without physically updating processor components, but the company claimed that such measures will not affect the roll-out of a 2Ghz Pentium 4, due in August.
Processors affected by the power increases will be identifiable by a change in ID code from 0F07h to 0F0Ah.
Currently, all Pentium 4 chips are manufactured to 0.18 micron and are available at speeds of 1.3Ghz, 1.4Ghz and 1.5Ghz. An eventual switch to the smaller 0.13 micron, which raises clock speed and reduces chip size and power requirements, will happen by the end of the year.
The company is also expected to cut its chip prices further on 4 March. Pentium 4 costs will be reduced by about three per cent, Pentium IIIs by up to 11 per cent and Celerons by as much as 19 per cent.
Separately, AMD's latest 1.3Ghz Athlon processor is now being shipped to original equipment manufacturers with systems based on the chip expected early to mid-March. The 1.3Ghz chip will ship with 200Mhz and 266Mhz front-side bus variants, at an expected street price of £220.
Early stocks are expected to be scarce and the vendor is recommending back orders to guarantee delivery.
Are partners encouraged by the big changes coming to Cisco next year? Josh Budd, content editor of CRN sister publication Channelnomics Europe, finds out
Thomas Kurian will join the company next week and transition into the top role in January
What is a former smartphone maker doing buying a next-gen security start-up, and what will the deal mean for Cylance partners' margins and market opportunity?
Samanage will use recent $30m investment to grow global operations and its channel