Intel is now converting all PIV processors over to this “optical shrink.”
To put it simply, it’s not a stepping increase, but rather drawing the current design lines a little more closely together. This will shrink the area of the chip about 10%.
The flagship 2.53GHz will get this shrink first, over the next few weeks, then the rest over the next few months.
Although it’s not a new stepping, “shrunk” processors will get new s-specs.
Intel is saying this should make no difference, but at the least, such a shrink can’t hurt and has helped a bit in the past.
The Mystery Processors
Then there’s something else.
A 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0GHz processor are listed as Northwood processors, Small Form Factor.
It has a different identifier than other PIV processors. The older Willies had an identifier beginning with BX (or RK) 80531. Northwood are 80532. These are 80534.
The s-specs for the preconverted processors are different from the processors we’re using, and are not included in Intel’s regular processor specifications.
What are these things?
Presumably, these are meant to be used by OEMs for compact boxes, but will these work using standard equipment?
It’s not an idle question because the regular 1.6A is ready to go to CPU heaven, and these whatevers are going to be around a while (hell, they haven’t even gotten here yet).
If anybody knows the answer to this little mystery, drop me a note.