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Intel Chip Puts Pentium II in Overdrive

Intel Corp. announced the Pentium II OverDrive Processor. The OverDrive Chip upgrades existing 150- and 180-MHz Pentium Pro processor based systems to 300-MHz and upgrades 166- and 200-MHz chips to 333-MHz.

Intel claims that, along with larger cache, the OverDrive chip will enhance system performance for desktops, workstations and servers. "Business users today demand more power from their PCs than ever before," says Jim Yasso, vice president, Intel Architecture Business Group. "Now owners of Pentium Pro processor-based systems can bridge to Intel’s MMX technology."

The OverDrive chip is built on Intel’s 0.25 micron process and shares the same processor core as Pentium II and the newer Pentium II Xeon processors. Because it is built with Pentium II technology, the OverDrive processor has many of the same features, including Dual Independent Bus Architecture, Dynamic execution, 32-KB L1 cache, and a closely coupled 512-KB L2 cache.

The L2 cache bus runs at the full speed of the processor, thus enabling the CPU to process faster. "The OverDrive is a Xeon by any other name," says Rob Enderle, senior analyst, Giga Information Group (Santa Clara, Calif.) "It’s a cheap way to get the Xeon."

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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