Intel does latest chip by the numbers

The continuing popularity of e-commerce security technology SSL (secure sockets layer) may be the key to the success of Intel's latest processor offering, the Pentium 4.

According to David Bolt, the manufacturer's general manager for Australia and New Zealand, the increasing use of SSL-encryption on high-traffic websites, such as banking and finance sites, is inhibiting the sites from operating at maximum speed.

The solution to this online slowdown, he believes, is the Pentium 4, formerly code-named the Willamette and officially announced in Australia today.

Specifications and pricing for the Pentium 4 are not yet available, but will be announced before the processor's release later this year.

Intel executives said the chip would retain most external attributes and would appear to many users as a faster alternative to the Pentium III. Internally, however, the chip would contain "a complete reworking of architecture", the executives said.

Intel also announced that the local release of its latest Celeron offering, the Timna, is scheduled for January.

The Timna will be targeted at the sub-$US600 desktop PC market.

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