Intel Corp. is entirely reworking the 1.13-GHz Pentium III chip on its own, delaying the processor until the second quarter of next year.
All of Intel's 0.18-micron Pentium III line is undergoing a new core "stepping," or manufacturing revision, according to a product change notification notice sent out by Intel.
A second, newer stepping will be used to fabricate the new 1.13-GHz chip, an Intel spokesman said.
Such steppings are uncommon, although expected through the course of a chip's life. New steppings are usually used to fix errata in the chips, or allow those chips to run at higher speeds.
What is unusual, said industry sources, is that the new steppings are usually planned to prevent an interruption in the steady introduction of faster clock speeds.
Intel, announced "limited production volumes" of the 1.13-GHz Pentium III in July, in a war of press releases the company has waged with rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
However, Intel pulled the plug on the 1.13-GHz chip at the end of August after noting an intermittent glitch that could result in data loss.
Why bother jumping through hoops with a part that was going to be released in limited availability?" one analyst asked.
All of the Pentium III microprocessors from 800-MHz on up will be affected by the so-called "C0" stepping, which has been in circulation for some time now, albeit in sample form.
The C0 stepping shrinks the Pentium III's die size by 5 percent, also correcting some latent errata.
Intel's plan is to release the new 1.13-GHz chip in a "flip-chip" FC-PGA package only, which will use an entirely new stepping, the Intel spokesman said without elaboration.
At this rate the 1.13 GHz Pentium 3 will be the first processor released after its successor, the pentium 4.