Intel Accelerates the Desktop

Back in December 1998, I did some research on how Intel’s strategies and roadmaps were changing rapidly and made a correlation between that and the market pressure AMD had brought to bear with the K6 (see 3DNow! Accelerates Intel Chips Too!). One bit of information in that article that might be surprising is that at the end of 1998, some estimates put AMD at about 18% market share in the microprocessor market (though others put it as low as 12%), with Intel at around 80%. Depending upon whose estimates you believe, AMD today has between 17% and 23% market share, while Intel has about 80%. AMD’s gains over the past three years, it can be argued (albeit weakly), actually came at the expense of Cyrix and IDT. Revised estimates of last quarter claim that both AMD and Intel gained very slightly in market share – at the expense of Transmeta and, you guessed it, VIA Cyrix. The more things change, the more they stay the same, it seems.

Over the past three years or so, I have been paying particular attention to the seemingly divergent paths that AMD and Intel have been on with regards to executing their respective plans and market position. While doing research for this article, I found an even older write up from March 1998 (see Is Intel in Trouble? ) that documents a marketplace that is hauntingly similar to the current one. With only a few changes of dates and product names, it could be describing the current marketplace! Admittedly, however, the current slump seems much worse.

With all the recent news about the changing Intel roadmaps, I thought it would be interesting to perform a similar investigation using the three roadmaps from 2001 that I have information about (Jan 23, June 1 and July 17). Today, Intel has really segmented the market by splitting it up into three major categories – desktop, mobile and workstation/server. Furthermore, over the past year, Intel has subdivided the mobile and workstation/server categories even further, as you will see in the charts. Interestingly, the desktop category has remained almost the same for the past three or more years.

In an attempt to make it easy to compare the roadmaps directly, I made a separate table for each market segment Intel uses, and put like processors from all dates next to each other. Each roadmap date has its own color throughout to help in identifying any changes. You can see whether any particular roadmap segment has changed recently by picking a particular column (representing each quarter) and following it down.

The first set of charts is for the workstation/server category. Note that Intel has broken this into multiple segments, including workstation, dual processor servers, front end servers and multiprocessor servers. In the front-end server segment, they have further broken it down into high-density (1U/2U) and ultra-dense (introduced in Q3 ’01). The ultra-dense segment consists solely of PIII Tualatin 512K processors, and has not changed since being included on the roadmap in June 1 of this year.

Table 1 – Workstation Segment

Q3 01

Q4 01

Q1 02

Q2 02

Q3 02

PIII-CuM

         

JAN 23 2001

1.13GHz

       
           

P4

         

JAN 23 2001

2GHz

2.2GHz

2.2GHz

   

JUNE 1 2001

2GHz

2.2GHz

2.2GHz

2.4GHz

 

JULY 17 2001

2GHz

2.2GHz

2.2GHz

2.4GHz

2.4GHz+

           

P4 Xeon

         

JAN 23 2001

2GHz

2GHz

2.2GHz

   

JUNE 1 2001

2GHz

2GHz

2.2GHz

2.4GHz

 

JULY 17 2001

2GHz

2GHz

2.2GHz

2.4GHz

2.4GHz+

           

Itanium

         

JAN 23 2001

800MHz

800MHz

800MHz

   

JUNE 1 2001

800MHz

800MHz

800MHz

   

JULY 17 2001

800MHz

800MHz

800MHz

   
           

McKinley

         

JAN 23 2001

 

(Pilot)

(Pilot)

Intro

 

JUNE 1 2001

     

1.2GHz(?)

 

JULY 17 2001

     

1.2GHz(?)

1.2GHz(?)

Table 2 – Dual Processor Server Segment

Q3 01

Q4 01

Q1 02

Q2 02

Q3 02

PIII Xeon

         

JUNE 1 2001

1GHz

       

JULY 17 2001

1GHz

       
           

PIII-T 512

         

JAN 23 2001

1.26GHz

1.26GHz+

1.26GHz+

1.26GHz+

 

JUNE 1 2001

1.26GHz

1.26GHz

1.4GHz

1.4GHz

 

JULY 17 2001

1.13GHz – 1.26GHz

1.26GHz

1.4GHz

1.4GHz

 
           

P4 Xeon

         

JAN 23 2001

2GHz

2GHz

2GHz+

2GHz+

 

JUNE 1 2001

 

2GHz

2.2GHz

2.4GHz

 

JULY 17 2001

 

2GHz

2.2GHz

2.4GHz

2.4GHz+

Table 3 – Front End Server Segment

Q3 01

Q4 01

Q1 02

Q2 02

Q3 02

PIII-T 512

         

JUNE 1 2001

1GHz

       
           

PIII-T 512

         

JAN 23 2001

1.26GHz

1.26GHz+

1.26+GHz

1.26+GHz

 

JUNE 1 2001

1.13GHz – 1.26GHz

1.13GHz – 1.26GHz

1.4GHz

1.4GHz

 

JULY 17 2001

1.13GHz – 1.26GHz

1.13GHz – 1.26GHz

1.4GHz

1.4GHz

 
           

P4 Xeon

         

JAN 23 2001

2GHz

2GHz

2GHz+

2GHz+

 

JUNE 1 2001

 

2GHz

2.2GHz

2.4GHz

 

JULY 17 2001

 

2GHz

2.2GHz

2.4GHz

2.4GHz+

           

McKinley

         

JUNE 1 2001

     

1.2GHz(?)

 

JULY 17 2001

     

1.2GHz(?)

1.2GHz(?)

Table 4 – Multiprocessor Server Segment

Q3 01

Q4 01

Q1 02

Q2 02

Q3 02

PIII Xeon

         

JAN 23 2001

700MHz – 900MHz

700MHz – 900MHz

     

JUNE 1 2001

700MHz – 900MHz

700MHz – 900MHz

     

JULY 17 2001

700MHz – 900MHz

700MHz – 900MHz

     
           

P4 Xeon

         

JAN 23 2001

 

1.6GHz

1.6GHz+

1.6GHz+

1.6GHz+

JUNE 1 2001

   

1.6GHz+

1.6GHz+

1.6GHz+

JULY 17 2001

   

1.6GHz+

1.6GHz+

1.6GHz+

           

Itanium

         

JAN 23 2001

800MHz

800MHz

800MHz

   

JUNE 1 2001

800MHz

800MHz

800MHz

   

JULY 17 2001

800MHz

800MHz

800MHz

   
           

McKinley

         

JAN 23 2001

   

(Pilot)

1.2GHz(?)

1.2GHz(?)

JUNE 1 2001

     

1.2GHz(?)

1.2GHz(?)

JULY 17 2001

     

1.2GHz(?)

1.2GHz(?)

As you can see, there have been essentially no changes to any of these roadmaps since the beginning of the year, with the exception of some additional details on speeds further out. This would seem to indicate that Intel does not feel any pressure in this market, and that they have not encountered any significant issues that would prevent them from releasing the various parts on time.

The next set of charts is for the mobile processor category. Again, Intel has broken this into multiple segments, including full size, thin/light, mini and sub-notebooks. I have not included the mini and sub-notebook segments in these charts because they were only recently broken out and no changes have been made since they were introduced. Since AMD does not currently have any competitive offering for the very low-end notebook market, and probably won’t until next year, there isn’t much of interest to show there.

Table 5 – Full Size Notebook Segment

Q3 01

Q4 01

Q1 02

Q2 02

Q3 02

Celeron CuMine

 

 

 

 

 

JAN 23 2001

700MHz – 850MHz

733MHz – 900MHz

800MHz – 933MHz

 

 

JUNE 1 2001

700MHz – 850MHz

733MHz – 900MHz

800MHz – 933MHz

850MHz – 1GHz

 

JULY 17 2001

700MHz – 850MHz

733MHz – 900MHz

800MHz – 933MHz

850MHz – 1GHz

900MHz – 1GHz+

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIII CuMine

 

 

 

 

 

JAN 23 2001

850MHz – 1GHz

900MHz – 1GHz

1GHz

 

 

JUNE 1 2001

850MHz – 1GHz

900MHz – 1GHz

1GHz

 

 

JULY 17 2001

850MHz – 1GHz

900MHz – 1GHz

1GHz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIII-T 512

 

 

 

 

 

JAN 23 2001

1.06GHz – 1.13GHz

1.06GHz – 1.2GHz

1.06GHz – 1.13GHz

 

 

JUNE 1 2001

866MHz – 1.13GHz

933MHz – 1.2GHz

1GHz – 1.13GHz

1.06 – 1.13GHz

 

JULY 17 2001

866MHz – 1.13GHz

933MHz – 1.2GHz

1GHz – 1.13GHz

1.06 – 1.13GHz

1.13GHz

 

 

 

 

 

 

P4

 

 

 

 

 

JAN 23 2001

 

 

1.5GHz – 1.6GHz

 

 

JUNE 1 2001

 

 

1.5GHz – 1.6GHz

1.5GHz – 1.6GHz+

 

JULY 17 2001

 

 

1.5GHz – 1.6GHz

1.5GHz – 1.7GHz+

1.5GHz – 1.7GHz+

Table 6 – Thin/Light Notebook Segment

Q3 01

Q4 01

Q1 02

Q2 02

Q3 02

Celeron CuMine

 

 

 

 

 

JAN 23 2001

700MHz – 850MHz

733MHz – 900MHz

800MHz – 933MHz

 

 

JUNE 1 2001

700MHz – 850MHz

733MHz – 900MHz

800MHz – 933MHz

850MHz – 1GHz

 

JULY 17 2001

700MHz – 850MHz

733MHz – 900MHz

800MHz – 933MHz

850MHz – 1GHz

900MHz – 1GHz+

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIII CuMine

 

 

 

 

 

JAN 23 2001

850MHz – 1GHz

900MHz – 1GHz

1GHz

 

 

JUNE 1 2001

850MHz – 1GHz

900MHz – 1GHz

1GHz

 

 

JULY 17 2001

850MHz – 1GHz

900MHz – 1GHz

1GHz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIII-T 512

 

 

 

 

 

JAN 23 2001

1.06GHz – 1.13GHz

1.06GHz – 1.2GHz

1.06GHz – 1.26GHz

 

 

JUNE 1 2001

866MHz – 1.13GHz

933MHz – 1.2GHz

1GHz – 1.26GHz

1.06 – 1.26GHz+

 

JULY 17 2001

866MHz – 1.13GHz

933MHz – 1.2GHz

1GHz – 1.26GHz

1.06 – 1.26GHz+

1.13GHz – 1.33GHz+

Of particular note in this category are the additional speed grades for the mobile Tualatin (PIII-T, on these charts), and the additional higher speed grades for the P4 later this year. This would seem to indicate that Intel is viewing the Athlon 4 as being a relatively strong competitor in these two segments, though not enough to increase the speeds at the top end.

The final chart is for the desktop processor category. The various segments Intel has been using here are based purely upon price points, unlike the previous two categories, thus the single chart. Here is where the roadmap has really been accelerated, which is not surprising considering the strong competition AMD brings to this part of the market.

Table 7 – Desktop Segment

Q3 01

Q4 01

Q1 02

Q2 02

Q3 02

Celeron-CuM

 

 

 

 

 

JAN 23 2001

800MHz – 900MHz

850MHz – 950MHz

900MHz – 950MHz+

 

 

JUNE 1 2001

800MHz – 900MHz

850MHz – 950MHz

900MHz – 1GHz

950MHz – 1GHz+

 

JULY 17 2001

800MHz -1.1GHz

900MHz – 1.1GHz

1GHz – 1.1GHz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celeron-T 256

 

 

 

 

 

JULY 17 2001

 

1.2GHz

1.2GHz – 1.3GHz

1.2GHz – 1.4GHz

1.3GHz – 1.4GHz+

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIII -CuM 256

 

 

 

 

 

JAN 23 2001

1GHz – 1.13GHz

1.13GHz

 

 

 

JUNE 1 2001

1GHz – 1.1GHz

1GHz – 1.1GHz

 

 

 

JULY 17 2001

1GHz – 1.1GHz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIII-T 256

 

 

 

 

 

JAN 23 2001

1.26GHz

1.26GHz

1.26GHz

 

 

JUNE 1 2001

1.13GHz – 1.2GHz

1.13GHz – 1.2GHz

1.2GHz

 

 

JULY 17 2001

1.13GHz – 1.2GHz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P4 Willy

 

 

 

 

 

JAN 23 2001

1.4GHz – 2GHz

1.4GHz – 2GHz

1.4GHz – 2GHz

 

 

JUNE 1 2001

1.4GHz – 2GHz

1.4GHz – 2GHz

1.5GHz – 2GHz

1.6GHz – 2GHz

 

JULY 17 2001

1.4GHz – 2GHz

1.5GHz – 2GHz

1.6GHz – 2GHz

1.8GHz – 2GHz

1.9GHz – 2GHz

 

 

 

 

 

 

P4 N-Wood

 

 

 

 

 

JAN 23 2001

 

2GHz+

2GHz+

 

 

JUNE 1 2001

 

2GHz – 2.2GHz

2GHz – 2.2GHz

2GHz – 2.4GHz

 

JULY 17 2001

 

2GHz – 2.2GHz

2GHz – 2.2GHz

2GHz – 2.4GHz

2GHz – 2.4GHz+

There are several areas that are of particular interest. First, notice that the Tualatin lifespan on the desktop has been reduced to a single quarter. After that, Intel intends to ramp the P4 volume and drive it into the mainstream very quickly. You can see how quickly the low-end ramps in speed now. Note that both the Willamette and Northwood cores will be offered at 2GHz.

The real eye-popper here is the Celeron, however. Between January and June, there wasn’t much change, but in the last six weeks Intel has turned this into a heavy-duty battle zone. As you can see, Tualatin suddenly becomes a Celeron part next quarter (with 256K cache), and ramps rather quickly. Looking at this chart, you can see that Intel is putting a great deal of pressure on the Duron at the low end, and will be way ahead of Athlon in raw clock speed (even if not necessarily performance). This may very well give Intel a significant marketing advantage going into the upcoming holiday season.

Pricing is obviously another very good indicator of how much competition there is, and a number of other publications have already provided that information. Once again, the desktop is where most of the action is, with the mobile market now coming under a bit of pressure. It will be interesting to watch the workstation market as the dual Athlon parts become available, and issues are worked out.


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