Intel has confirmed that it is updating its Pentium 4 5xx family this quarter, adding support for 64-bit addressing and processing. The new chips will not ship until 10 June.
The Pentium 4 5x1 series replaces today's 5x0 P4s, Intel reveals in a document sent to its customers and seen by The Register. It's all quite straightforward: the 570, for example, will become the 571, the extra unit in the chip's model number representing the result of the addition of EM64T. The clock speed - 3.8GHz - remains the same, as do the frontside bus speed (800MHz) and the L2 cache size (1MB).
Each chip in the family will retain its original CPU ID code, too. However, motherboards will require a BIOS update to add support for 64-bit operation, if they don't have it already.
Interestingly, Intel said in a separate document that is also renaming the P4 505 as the 506, again because of the addition of EM64T support. However, there's no 505 on the company's price list. It's a 2.66GHz part that unlike other 5x1 P4s only runs a 533MHz FSB, and so far as we can tell is only available as a boxed product.
The 5x1 P4s appeared in Intel roadmaps earlier this year. Comments from Intel sources had led us to believe the chips might also include support for the company's Virtualisation Technology (VT), but there's no indication of this in the chip maker's note to customers. ®
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