The race continues
With the race to 1GHz over, we assumed Intel would slow their pace of processor introductions to a more conservative level; we're here today to report that those assumptions were wrong!
Just four months after launching the Pentium III processor at 1GHz, the clock frequency is now up to 1133MHz (1.13GHz).
Like the 1.0 gigahertz Pentium III, the 1.13GHz Pentium III is based on the SECC2 packaging and is only available in limited quantities. System manufacturers Dell and IBM will receive the bulk of the 1.13GHz P3s, with other large manufacturers picking up the leftovers. If you were hoping to purchase a 1.13GHz Pentium III at your local retailer, you'll be out of luck. However, to alleviate your thirst for more speed, Intel is expected to increase their supply of the 1-GHz Pentium III sometime during this quarter.
As you've probably noticed, purchasing any of the faster Pentium III processors can be a difficult ordeal. Demand remains steady for these high-speed processors. That, coupled with manufacturing difficulties, has resulted in a nine-month long processor shortage that began with the launch of the "Coppermine" Pentium III core last October.
As a result, Intel has announced plans to build a new fabrication facility in Ireland. Dubbed Fab 24, the new fab will encompass over 1 million square feet overall, with 135,000 square feet of cleanroom space for manufacturing processors. The new facility will incorporate Intel's upcoming 0.13-micron process with copper interconnect technology built on 200mm wafers.
This, along with Intel's plans to expand their existing facility in New Mexico, should eventually alleviate Intel's supply crunch. Construction on both facilities has already begun, with production from the Ireland facility beginning in the second half of 2001, and the New Mexico expansion (which will include 300mm wafers) during 2002.
For now, Intel will have to rely on its five (and soon six) 0.18-micron fabrication facilities for its Pentium III production, much to the delight of rival AMD. With the Athlon offering similar levels of performance and the Pentium III in short supply, many system integrators and consumers have jumped ship for AMD.
Unlike Intel, AMD has had fewer problems meeting demand for its high-speed parts, and, as a result, has steadily increased sales and revenues each quarter. Last quarter alone AMD shipped 1.8 million Athlon and Duron processors, with shipments expected to double to 3.6 million for the third quarter, and double again to 7.2 million in the fourth quarter. The future has never looked so bright for the company.