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Intel Pulls Plug 0n 4.0-GHz P4

Intel is quietly letting its customers know that it has pulled the plug on a planned 4.0-GHz speed grade of its Pentium 4 processor, VARBusiness has learned.

"This is a customer communication," an Intel spokesman said, adding that the company is not planning to issue a press release.

The news is the second time in recent months that Intel has changed its P4 plans. In July, Intel announced that the processor, which had originally been set to ship in the fourth quarter of this year, was being pushed back to the first quarter of 2005. Intel said the reason was that it needed more time to ramp up to volume production its 90-nm semiconductor fabrication technology.

That delay painted the company in a bad light because it followed a string of glitches, including the discovery of defects in Grantsdale (a chipset for use with the Pentium 4 processor), the scrapping of the planned Tejas processor because it dissipated too much power and ran too hot, and delays to the Dothan Pentium M mobile processor.

Those problems culminated in the public release of a memo from Intel CEO Craig Barrett, exhorting the company's employees to get past the difficulties.

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