Intel Corporation announced Wednesday that its upcoming "Willamette" microprocessor will be marketed as the Pentium 4 when it ships later this year. The P7-based Pentium 4 is the first totally new processor core from Intel since the P6-based Pentium Pro was released in October 1995. And it will debut at an astonishing speed of 1.4 GHz with future upgrades coming in 100 MHz jumps. The Pentium 4 also interfaces with a high-speed 400 MHz bus, compared with the 100 and 133 MHz buses that are typical today. Intel expects the chip to reestablish the Pentium family of processors as the ultimate in PC performance.

"Around the world, PC users associate the Pentium brand with the highest PC performance, compatibility and quality available," said Pam Pollace, the vice president of Intel Sales and Marketing. "Computer users will be able to instantly recognize the Pentium 4 processor as Intel's newest high-performance microprocessor." It's unclear how or when the Pentium III products will be phased out. Intel's low-end Celeron processors will probably be replaced by a new family of processors code-named "Timna," which integrates a number of previously separate features, such as a video controller.

"Pentium is one of the most recognized brands in the world, and it has strong equity with users," said Erik Reid, the senior brand manager at Intel