Intel Ships 64-Bit Pentium 4 Chips

Microprocessor giant Intel finally introduced its line of x64-compatible Pentium 4 chips yesterday, ushering in an era of mainstream 64-bit computing. The Pentium 4 6xx series chips run at 3.2GHz to 3.6GHz, feature a large 2MB L2 cache, and offer compatibility with the x64 platform that AMD first pioneered. All that's missing now is an x64-based OS, and Microsoft is set to release Windows XP Professional x64 Edition within the next several weeks. (My preview of XP Pro x64 Edition will be available later today on the SuperSite for Windows; see the URL below.)
  
"Intel continues to offer new platform features based on what people are actually doing with their PCs, such as using rich media, communicating with friends or family, and being productive in the office," Rob Crooke, Intel's general manager of Desktop Marketing and Strategic Planning, said. "As software for the digital home and office matures and becomes more demanding, desktops \[compatible with x64\] are well-timed to take advantage of emerging new usage models."
  
In addition to the new Pentium 4 models, Intel also began shipping a new x64-compatible Pentium 4 Processor Extreme Edition that runs at 3.73GHz. The company plans to convert its entire x86 line of desktop microprocessors, including microprocessors based on the Celeron processor, to x64-compatible technology by the end of 2005. And in second quarter 2005, Intel will begin shipping dual-core Pentium 4 chips that provide the processing muscle of two microprocessors. Rival AMD says that it, too, will ship dual-core chips in 2005. 
  
In related news, Intel's recently released Centrino upgrade, code-named Sonoma, is in short supply. According to the company, PC makers are adopting the new Centrino chipset, which is designed for mobile computers, more quickly than expected.

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition RC2 Preview

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