The first Celeron based on Intel’s 0.13-micron Tualatin core debuted at the beginning of 2002 at 1.2GHz. Given that the Tualatin’s future in the mainstream desktop arena had been all but completely undermined by the Pentium 4 by the time of its release, there was speculation that the new core might find a niche in the budget CPU market. However, for this to happen required that Tualatin’s potential for moving the Celeron family forward to a 133MHz FSB to be realised. The prospects of this were not encouraging though, with both the debut CPU and the 1.3MHz version released in early 2002 being restricted to a 100MHz FSB and use of PC100 memory modules.

It subsequently became apparent that even for the Celeron the Tualatin would be no more than a stopgap, only taking the range to 1.5GHz. At that point it appeared that the plan was for the Pentium 4 Willamette core to move to the value sector, address the long-standing FSB bottleneck and take the Celeron family to 1.8GHz and beyond. If this turns out to be the case then it means that FC-PGA2 motherboards will have had a very short life span indeed!

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