typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

## Intel Scraps Plan For 4 Ghz P4 Chip379

bizpile writes "It was reported earlier that Intel would be delaying the release of their 4Ghz Pentium 4 chips, but it now appears that they will be cancelling them altogether. The announcement came Thursday and Intel says they are going to rely on approaches besides faster clock speed to improve the performance of chips. Engineers are working to add additional cores to a single chip and improving the efficiency in how the chips interact with the rest of the system. Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said, "Those are the sort of things where you get more capability out of a processor by designing specific silicon solutions as opposed to just keep turning the clock faster." In the meantime, Intel is planning on releasing a 3.8 Ghz chip with 2mb of cache."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

## Intel Scraps Plan For 4 Ghz P4 Chip

• #### At last! Intel realizes that.... (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday October 14, 2004 @05:54PM (#10529953)
Mhz do not always = performance!
• #### Re:At last! Intel realizes that.... (Score:4, Insightful)

on Thursday October 14, 2004 @05:57PM (#10529985)
Um... Intel realized that when they switched to Processor Numbers [intel.com] earlier this year.
• #### Re:At last! Intel realizes that.... (Score:5, Funny)

on Thursday October 14, 2004 @06:01PM (#10530035) Homepage
"Processor numbers will be categorized in 3-digit numerical sequences such as 7xx, 5xx, or 3xx."

I'll bet dollars to donuts that the ad guy who came up with the new naming system owns a BMW.

-B
• #### Re:At last! Intel realizes that.... (Score:3, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward
Post Anonymously (hopefully obviously why)
"I'll bet dollars to donuts that the ad guy who came up with the new naming system owns a BMW."

Actually I think is a silver Carerra (may be mistaken as I don't work in the processor group)
• #### Re:At last! Intel realizes that.... (Score:3, Funny)

"Processor numbers will be categorized in 3-digit numerical sequences such as 7xx, 5xx, or 3xx."

Unfortunately the model number will be the same as the price in dollars...
• #### Re:At last! Intel realizes that.... (Score:3, Funny)

Oooh! I want to be first in line for a 386, a 387, and a 586!!! -------- Amiga will live forever.
• #### Re:At last! Intel realizes that.... (Score:4, Informative)

on Friday October 15, 2004 @12:31AM (#10532533)
I'll bet dollars to donuts that the ad guy who came up with the new naming system owns a BMW.

Either that, or he owns an Opteron server and AMD already took all the even numbers... [amd.com]
• #### BZZT! (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday October 14, 2004 @06:02PM (#10530045)
No, Intel switched to processor numbers when they realized that we realized that MHz don't tell the full story.
• #### Re:BZZT! (Score:3, Informative)

Any compitent person at slashdot(the "we" you are referring to) should have realized that a decade ago. Compare clock-to-clock a ppc(not just a mac, an ibm or moto box would work, but macs are most obvious) to an intel. PPC's do things (some, not necesarily all) in a much more efficient way, so an intel 1.2 ghz p4, doesn't necesarily mean it is faster than a motorla 1.0ghz G4. Quite the opposite most of the time.

Sparc and Alpha processors were the same way, to some extent. Basicly, Intel racked 1 category
• #### Re:At last! Intel realizes that.... (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday October 14, 2004 @05:58PM (#10529999)
I think Intel have realised they are reaching the point of diminishing return with trying to keep cranking up the Mhz on the current architecture and there are cheaper performance gains to be had else where.
• #### Re:At last! Intel realizes that.... (Score:2)

Or they just found how hard it is to get the speed up that high and work properly.
• #### Re:At last! Intel realizes that.... (Score:3, Insightful)

I think Intel have reached the point of desperation. Admitting MHz isn't everything is a giant climbdown for a company that has always marketed heavily on that front, and killing further ramp-up on Prescott is a sad end for a troubled core.

(A premature one, too, surely; multi-core and Pentium-M-based desktop kit isn't due for ages is it? And won't multi-core chips have to be developed from P-M tech anyway? I can't see *two* Prescotts on one die being easily coolable...)

Bunging more cache on the chip is a
• #### Yeah...and their PR department finally conceeded.. (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday October 14, 2004 @06:02PM (#10530042)
I mean come on. We all know their engineers knew that MHz != better cpu. It just took them this long to finally convince their PR department to give up on the multi-billion dollar investment they have made in making "consumers" know that MHz == better cpu.
• #### OR (Score:3, Insightful)

Maybe they realized they weren't going to be able to reliably cool the netburst architecture at those speeds so they're going to have to switch to the lower-clocked, possibly multicore Pentium-M arch.

They'd be FORCED to use a numbering scheme because any conspicuous lowering of the MHz would cause Joe Shmoe to say "What the hell?"
• #### Re:Yeah...and their PR department finally conceede (Score:5, Interesting)

<pcg2@nOsPaM.lehigh.edu> on Thursday October 14, 2004 @10:20PM (#10531903) Homepage
I don't know if I'd agree exactly with this comment. While a 3.8 GHz P4 does not perform as highly as a 3.8GHz Athlon chip would, an AMD chip can not physically run at these speeds. The pipeline would not support it.

The slashdot crowd is quick to attack Intel because they're the big guys, but the NetBurst architecture is an extremely powerful and (gasp!) good architecture. While the engineers designing it designed a processor for maximum pipelinability (over 30 stages now) this is not really a bad thing. Pipelining a processor is a good thing in general. Its main claim to usage is that it allows a processor to run at a higher clock speed. That is what pipelining was created for; to break down the time into smaller slices so more can occur in parallell. This process works great when each stage is of approximately equal length, and I have enough faith in the Intel engineers that no single stage was much longer then the next longest stage.

Back to the point though the pipeline does have downsides. A processor with 20 stages will lose ~ twice as many cycles on a branch missprediction (and more on a cache miss, but that number varies further) when compared to a 10 stage processor. However assuming that by using 20 stages we cut the cycle length by even 50% the additional stages were worthwhile. Cache misses are not a "common" event and branch prediction is in the 95+% range now, so the stalls added there are not as large as you'd think.

What the pentium 4 has done was manifest these to a larger scale. Unfortunately the engineers desiging the processor did not realize the massive leakage currents that are seen with processors at the speeds Intel is using. From a computer architect's standpoint they build upon past assumptions, and more stages in a pipe generally help out, so thats what they did. While the end result is not as impressive as they were hoping the end result is not a poor product.

Now what has the NetBurst architecture offered to the consumers? Well one of the main offerings its had is building an SMT processor (hyperthreading in marketing speak). SMT is more then mere marketing hype. It was not an afterthought thrown onto the P4 due to less then stellar performance as people have hinted at. SMT was originally designed for the Alpha ev8 chip that was scrapped. Intel however bought the alpha design team and used the SMT technology (albeit to a lesser extent then some would hope for) in the NetBurst architecture.

What else has NetBurst added? The trace cache is a wonderful feature as well. This removes the x86 decode logic from the runtime pipeline for most instructions.

So where can Intel go from here? My hope isn't so much in the multicore logic that some talk about. While multicore is interesting, I personally would rather see a wider P4 core (more execution units) and have them extend their implementation of SMT to allow for more concurrent threads of execution. a 4 or 8 way SMT processor could show some real results.

And for those of you who are going to question what I'm saying... No I don't work for Intel. And no my desktop processor is not an Intel processor either (I run an athlon 1600 for my workstation). However in my lab I am working on algorithms designed specifically around SMT processors (as well as cache aware/prefetching enabled applications). Intel's processors happen to enable quite a bit of optimization if done properly.

While I never agreed with Intel playing the MHz game, or their ridiculous prices, I would not say that the engineers were completely against the super-pipelining of the NetBurst architecture. While they may have questioned the reasons behind it, the real world performance gain does exist do to it.

Philip Garcia
• #### Re:At last! Intel realizes that.... (Score:2, Insightful)

Mhz do not always = performance!

Mhz do not always = Sales.

By some accounts AMD and VIA have up to 40% of the global processor market now.

• #### Re:At last! Intel realizes that.... (Score:4, Insightful)

on Thursday October 14, 2004 @06:06PM (#10530084) Journal
At last! Intel realizes that....
Mhz do not always = performance!

Yes, but only when they have a hard time increasing the clock speed do they "realize" it. It's no coincidence they didn't say this during the days of 2 GHz Pentium's, but is doing it now... Always spend the minimum effort of improving the architecture when you can just crank up the clock speed and show your customers it's the best thing to do.

But I guess they've waited with this announcement (it was actually true since the day Intel designed their first microprocesor) because they dread the day when they have to start explaining how higher clock speeds aren't really everything.
• #### Re:At last! Intel realizes that.... (Score:2, Interesting)

Hopefully this means that we are going to be seeing a revolution in bringing multi-core processors to the desktop. Imagine a CPU that incorporates 4 cores, 4gb cache, 4gb ram, and 40gb storage all on a single die. At that point, the only upgrades you would need to worry about would be for mechanical drives like DVDRW and HighDensity Hardrives, and the latest graphics card. Of course some kind of liquid/vapor cooling would need to be used to pop out the full potential of these new processors, but then tha
• #### Re:At last! Intel realizes that.... (Score:3, Interesting)

Multi-core dies generate less heat than that number of processrs, and the trend is to use low-power/lower-speed chips. This means that the computer on your desk in a year or two (hopefully) will not need noisy/expensive cooling, and will draw much less power than current models.

• #### Well now for the rest of the PC (Score:3, Interesting)

on Thursday October 14, 2004 @10:07PM (#10531814)
Okay, this means it's time for the CPU performance increases to take a back seat. Maybe now the rest of the computer can have some time to catch up better with the CPU. I am talking about bus and memory bandwidth. This is one hurdle that needs to be overcome.

Low latency and high bandwidth up the wazoo is one aspect that supercomputers for example have over standard pc components, besides massive parallelism of course.

It would be cool to see intel start making inroads from R&D on the memory front. I'm not talking about on-die cache, that is a given. The questions to be answered are how to get the main memory up to snuff with the rest of the system.
If the current state of the art in CPU power stagnated from here until 5 or more years from now, it really wouldn't be an issue if the same efforts during that time were put into lower latencies across the whole sytem architecture itself.

So what am I saying? The CPU has had enough innovation in it's current form. It's time to focus on other lagging components. Pci-x is a step in the right direction, but it is nothing without main memory advances and other mainboard bus architectural improvements.
• #### Re:Well now for the rest of the PC (Score:3, Insightful)

Interesting you would talk about speeding up the rest of the computer because with AMD putting the northbridge memory controller on the CPU itself, the Hypertransport motherboard level data connections, DDR2 system RAM, PCI Express, Serial ATA, and UltraSCSI 320, most of the other components on the computer are also getting quite a bit faster, too. And external connections are getting faster with USB 2.0 and IEEE-1394b becoming increasingly common, too.
• #### How close are we to the Max clock speed? (Score:3, Interesting)

on Thursday October 14, 2004 @10:37PM (#10532010)
It seems to me that there has got to be maximum rate at which we can push the clock.

I have a 3.2 GHz Pentium 4. How far can light travel in one clock cycle at that speed?

186000 miles / 3.2 billion is about 3.7 inches isn't it?

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes. -- Dr. Warren Jackson, Director, UTCS

Working...