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Intel's New Pentiums

Intel has launched the first Pentium 4 processor based on its 90 nanometer manufacturing process. The chipmaker is introducing the processor with unprecedented aggressive pricing, according to analysts.

The new processors, which were code-named Prescott, begin at $178 each in quantities of 1,000 for a 2.8-GHz device, and range to $417 for the 3.4-GHz version.

"I have never seen Intel introduce a top-of-the-line part at such a low price," says Peter Kastner, an analyst with the Aberdeen Group.

The production of the devices on 300-mm wafers, with a die size that is about 30% smaller than rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s processors currently manufactured on a 130-nanometer process and 200-mm wafers, provides Intel with the ability to offer the most cost-effective high-end microprocessors available, says Bill Siu, VP and general manager of Intel's Desktop Platforms Group.

"Our ability to supply the product in very high volumes and continue to drive the cost down will be a great benefit not just for Intel but also for consumers," Siu says. All Prescott processors will be manufactured on 300-mm wafers, which provide a 30% price advantage over the previous-generation wafers, he says.

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