Intel is kicking off the new year this week with a new desktop Celeron chip that clocks in at 1.3GHz.
The budget-friendly chip, like the 1.2GHz Celeron launched in October, is based on the company's new 130-nanometer (0.13-micron) manufacturing process and sports a 256KB level 2 cache with a 100MHz bus. That means it is essentially the same as a new Pentium III chip, but with a somewhat slower front-side bus, the data pipeline between the chip and system components, such as memory.
Through the last weeks of 2001, most PC makers stuck with Intel's older 1GHz and 1.1GHz Celeron chips for their holiday PCs. Now, a few 1.2GHz and 1.3GHz Celeron models are available from companies such as Compaq Computer, Hewlett-Packard and Sony.
HP, for example, has introduced a new Pavilion 520n desktop. The machine, priced at $799, offers the 1.3GHz chip, 512MB of RAM, a 60GB hard drive, and a CD-RW and DVD-ROM drive.
The latest Celeron tops the Duron chip from rival Advanced Micro Devices in the never-ending game of clock-speed hopscotch. The most recent Duron, unveiled in November, clocks in at 1.2GHz.
Indeed, AMD is expected to launch a new 1.3GHz Duron chip later this month, sources said.
The new Celeron will list for $118 in quantities of 1,000, though street prices on the chip may vary.
Next week, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel is expected to launch a new 2.2GHz Pentium 4 for desktop PCs. Later in the first quarter, it is expected to follow up with new mobile Pentium 4 chips.