The holiday season has barely begun, but Intel is already planning improvements to its processors that will see the Pentium 4 line expand into all segments of the market next year. The company says that it will hit 3GHz on the mainstream Pentium 4 by the end of 2002. And Intel will rev up its low-end Celeron line, currently based on Pentium III technology, with Pentium 4 technology by mid-2002.

"I think we have cleaned up our product line," Intel CEO Craig Barrett told financial analysts and investors this week. "In this difficult time, \[the weakening economy was\] distracting us from our core strengths."

The Pentium 4-based Celeron will initially feature speeds of 1.8GHz, a 400MHz front-side bus, and 256KB of L2 cache, and will ship alongside a new motherboard chipset. New mobile chips and high-end Xeon processors based on the Pentium 4 are also on tap for 2002. And the company will ship its second-generation 64-bit Itanium chip, code-named McKinley, in mid-2002.