Intel has redesigned a key element in an upcoming version of
the Pentium 4 processor to allow the chip to hit higher speeds, but analysts say
the change may only incrementally improve performance at first. The Prescott
processor will feature a pipeline that will be substantially longer than the
20-stage pipeline on current Pentium 4s. Some sources say the Prescott pipeline
will be about 30 stages.

Extending the pipeline in this manner will likely help Intel
achieve its goal of selling desktop chips that run at 4GHz in 2004. An Intel
representative would not confirm the length of the Prescott pipeline but said it
was indeed longer than the one found on the Pentium 4. "It will have a larger
pipeline," the representative said. "The larger the pipeline, you can do less
work per clock and speed up the processor."

Intel has redesigned a key element in an upcoming version of
the Pentium 4 processor to allow the chip to hit higher speeds, but analysts say
the change may only incrementally improve performance at first. The Prescott
processor will feature a pipeline that will be substantially longer than the
20-stage pipeline on current Pentium 4s. Some sources say the Prescott pipeline
will be about 30 stages.

Extending the pipeline in this manner will likely help Intel
achieve its goal of selling desktop chips that run at 4GHz in 2004. An Intel
representative would not confirm the length of the Prescott pipeline but said it
was indeed longer than the one found on the Pentium 4. "It will have a larger
pipeline," the representative said. "The larger the pipeline, you can do less
work per clock and speed up the processor."