Intel Corporation filled out its Celeron product line this week when it announced the immediate availability of two new high-end chips that run at 566 and 600 MHz. Intel's Celeron family of microprocessors are designed for sub-$1000 PCs, and while the products have always maintained a low price point, they've been edging up into Pentium III territory for some time now, offering the more expensive chips some serious competition. And with these two new Celerons, the line is blurred even more, as they include special processing directives that were previously available only on Pentium III chips.

"Intel is keeping its foot on the gas in the value PC market segment,'' said Intel VP and general manager Pat Gelsinger. We launched a new Celeron processor in the first week of the year and are now adding faster versions based on our 0.18-micron technology. Several more Celeron processor family members are due before June, reinforcing our leadership position in the value PC market segment."

These latest Celeron microprocessors are manufactured on the same 0.18 micron process used by the Pentium III; older versions use a less efficient 0.25 micron process. But the big addition this time around is integrated support for Intel's Internet Streaming SIMD instruction set, which allows the CPU to run significantly faster than older versions.

The chips cost approximately $167 for the 566 MHz version and $181 for the 600 MHz part