Gecko's CPU Library

Intel Celeron (Tualatin-256) processors

Introduction: January 2002


The Celeron brand refered to a range of Intel's x86 CPUs for budget/value personal computers. Considered Intel's "economic" processor, the Celeron branded processors had complemented Intel's higher-performance (and more expensive) brands. Intel had given the brand the motto, "delivering great quality at an exceptional value." Celeron processors was able to run all IA-32 computer programs, but their performance was somewhat lower when compared to similar, but higher priced, Intel CPU brands. For example, the Celeron brand often had less cache memory, or had advanced features purposely disabled. These missing features had a variable impact on performance. In some cases, the effect was significant and in other cases the differences were relatively minor. Many of the Celeron designs had achieved a very high "bang to the buck," while at other times, the performance difference had been noticeable. For example, some intense application software, such as cutting edge PC games, programs for video compression, video editing, or solid modeling (CAD, engineering analysis, computer graphics and animation, rapid prototyping, medical testing, product visualization, and visualization of scientific research), etc. may not performed as well on the Celeron family. This had been the primary justification for the higher cost of other Intel CPU brands vs. the Celeron.

The Tualatin-256 core

These Celeron processors, released initially at 1200MHz (1.2GHz) on October 2, 2001, were based on Pentium III Tualatin core and made with a 0.13 micrometer process for the FCPGA2 socket 370 . They were nicknamed "Tualeron" - a portmanteau of the words Tualatin and Celeron. Some software and users refer to the chips as "Celeron-S", referring to the chip's lineage with the Pentium III-S, but this is not an official designation. Intel later released 1000MHz and 1100MHz parts (which were given the extension "A" to their name to differentiate them from the Coppermine-128 of the same speed they replaced). A 1300MHz chip, launched January 4, 2002, and finally a 1400 MHz chip, launched May 15, 2002 (the same day as the Netburst Willamette 1.7GHz Celeron launch), marked the end of the Tualatin-256 line.

With regards to core functionality, Tualatin-256 was again quite similar to its Pentium III sibling. The most significant differences were a slower 100MHz bus and only 256KB of L2 cache (whereas the Pentium III had either 256KB or 512KB of L2 cache). Furthermore, the Tualeron's L2 cache had a higher latency which boosted manufacturing yields for this budget CPU.

Despite offering much improved performance over the Coppermine Celeron it superseded, the Tualatin Celeron still suffered stiff competition from AMD's Duron budget processor. Intel later responded by releasing the Netburst Willamette Celeron, and for some time Tualatin Celerons were manufactured and sold in parallel with their replacement Pentium 4-based Celerons.

In Intel's "Family/Model/Stepping" scheme, Tualatin Celerons and Pentium IIIs were family 6, model 11 and their Intel product code was 80530.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.