Intel Corporation is again tooting the horn of progress as it disclosed more information about its future plans, including processors that will hit and eventually exceed 1000 MHz.

In the near future, Intel's server and home desktop offerings will split into the "Foster" and "Willamette" chipsets, respectively. Foster CPUs are expected to hit 1000 MHz or higher by the time they are released in 2000 or 2001. Both Foster and Willamette lines are 32-bit designs, like the current Pentium II family members, though they differ in many respects from the current generation. For example, both Foster and Willamette chips will have cache that is integrated directly onto the processor.

A radically different 64-bit design, Merced, will be followed by the McKinley. The McKinley will be made with a 0.13 micron process, compared to the current chips, which use a 0.25 micron process. In general, the smaller the size, the faster--and cooler--the chip can be. McKinley chips are expected to start at about 1000 MHz as well, but run at least twice as fast as comparable Merced chips.

In the short-term, however, Intel will also introduce two new members to the current generation of Pentium II chips, the "Tanner" and "Cascades" CPUs. Tanner is a Pentium II with MMX-2 instructions, while Cascades adds MMX-2 capabilities to the Pentium II Xeon line. They will both be available in 1999