Celeron D

Intel’s competitiveness in the value chip arena was given a considerable boost in mid-2004, with the Celeron’s transition to the company’s 90nm Prescott core. As though in recognition of the fact, the new processors were marketed under the name Celeron D, to distinguish them from previous generations. At the time of their release, compatible motherboards required either the Intel 845 or 865 chipset families.

Compared with previous NetBurst versions of the processor, the Celeron D chips have a twice as large L1 data cache and L2 cache (16KB and 256KB respectively), support of additional SSE3 SIMD instructions, a faster 533MHz bus and all other architectural improvements resulting from the shift to 90nm process technology. While the Prescott’s longer pipelines mean that it takes longer for the data to travel through the Prescott core than the Northwood at the same clock speed, the former’s 90nm process technology will allow Celeron D chips to be clocked significantly faster than their predecessors.

The Celeron Ds have a 3xx model number (compared to 5xx for Pentium 4s and 7xx for Pentium Ms). As of March 2006 the range extended from 310 to 355, covering a number of speed grades between 12.13GHz and 3.33GHz. From the release of the Celeron D 351 in early 2006, support for Intel’s EM64T technology and the Execute Disable Bit feature – designed to combat malicious buffer overflow attacks – became default features. Model numbers increased by 1 over the previous generation (330 -> 331), and were only manufactured for socket 775. Up until then, while all Celeron chips had hardware-level support of EM64T by virtue of it also being built into the Prescott core, the feature had been disabled.

Intel’s first 65nm desktop Celeron D chips, based on the Cedar Mill core, are expected to provide 512KB of L2 cache, double that of Celeron D family members hitherto, run across 533MHz frontside bus and support 64-bit computing. The chips are slated for release by mid-2006, carrying model numbers of 352 and 356, with clock speeds of 3.2GHz and 3.33GHz respectively.

These are likely to be the final products to carry the Celeron name, with future budget Intel processors being expected to adopt the Intel Core Solo/Duo branding.