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Intel fixes 3GHz chip, cuts prices

An anomaly with the processor that delayed its debut has been permanently fixed, the chipmaker says. Meanwhile, the company slashes prices on some mobile chips.

Intel has fixed a problem with its latest 3GHz processor and cut prices on some notebook chips.

The 3GHz chip was supposed to come out last week, but Intel discovered an anomaly with the processor in its labs on the eve of the launch and subsequently delayed the introduction. The problem has now been permanently fixed with a BIOS (basic input/output system) software patch, said a company representative, and the chip is shipping in volume quantities.

Although Intel already has been shipping a 3GHz chip for months, the new chip differs in that it is matched with a new chipset, called 875P, formerly code-named Canterwood. The chipset touts, among other performance-enhancing features, a faster 800MHz bus and a Serial ATA connection for hard drives.

Hewlett-Packard, among others, is inserting the silicon into a new workstation. Like other companies, HP issued a press release on its workstation before Intel suspended shipment of the new chip.

The belatedly introduced 3GHz Pentium 4 sells for $417 in 1,000-unit quantities. Concurrently, Intel cut the price of its existing Pentium 4 that is matched with chipsets running at 533MHz or 400MHz, which cost from $589 to $401.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company will come out with another 800MHz chipset, code-named Springdale, and a complimentary 3.2GHz Pentium 4 in the next few weeks, according to sources close to the company. These upcoming chips are expected to launch with price cuts on the desktop processor line. Intel has not cut desktop prices across the board since February.

Meanwhile, the company cut prices on some of its mobile chips. The Pentium 4-M at 2.5GHz dropped 38 percent, from $562 to $348, while the 2.4GHz version of the chip declined 31 percent, from $348 to $241. A 2GHz fell 18 percent, from $241 to $198.

Less steep cuts were imposed for the mobile version of the Celeron chip.