According to CNET, Intel has dropped their plans for a 4 GHz Pentium 4 chip, replacing it with a 3.8 GHz chip with a 2 MB cache. Intel is spinning this as a deliberate move to distance themselves from the “more MHz is better” mindset:
Behind the shift is Intel President Paul Otellini, who wants the company to move away from focusing on increases in chip speed, measured in megahertz, as the primary way to increase performance. Intel has talked about such a shift for years, but remained fond of the clock-speed approach until recently. Speeches by executives about moving away from megahertz were often closely followed by announcements of faster chips.
Of course, the spin is wearing a bit thin on this–if Intel could release a 4 GHz P4, then they’d jump at the opportunity. It’s certainly cheaper to produce P4s with 1 MB of cache then with 2 MB; replacing their entire 1 MB line with 2 MB models will lower their profit (assuming that the replacement chips sell for more or less the same price).
On a similar note, Om Malik points out that Intel’s latest quarterly earnings were quite a bit worse then Intel’s been spinning.