Intel will take a couple months to review and refine its speediest chip before the company continues its production and begins supplying it again, the company said yesterday.
Howard High, an Intel spokesman said the next couple of months are needed to address why the 1.13GHz Pentium III chip was freezing under certain test conditions and to reconfigure the chip so it meets the company's standards.
High said Intel learned a few days before the chip's 31 July public debut from two hardware testing sites, Tomshardware.com and HardOCP.com, that the chips were not performing properly.
Initial speculation was that the chip was running too hot, so Intel testers worked to duplicate the testing conditions of the test sites, High said.
That speculation was confirmed by Intel's testing. The 1.13GHz chip should run at about 35 degrees Celsius and should have some latitude to run a bit hotter, High said.
In the past couple of weeks, Intel intensified its testing and determined the temperature problem was related to certain circuits on the chip and not the manufacturing process.
He said, in general, two tests are done on chips to make sure they run properly.
One test requires that the processor recompile Linux code to test that function and the performance of the chip.
The second test, called Sysmark 2000, requires the chip to run a bank of standard desktop application suites. The chip, on occasion, failed to complete both tests, High said.
Some analysts also suggested that Intel felt pressure to get the new chip out, as rival AMD had its 1GHz chip claiming the top position in the speed category.
"We feel pressure to get every product out," High said. Intel has to balance pressures to get a product to market with maintaining tough standards for the company's products.
So now, High said, engineers will begin to review the chip and get it ready to ship again in a couple of months.