Some day in the future the Intel Pentium 4 processor will be phased out, but behind the scenes its successor seems to be ready to take over.

Intel is currently developing a new processor codenamed Nehalem. This news was presented in an interview with Doug Carmean, managing engineer with Intel, that appeared on the company's website but has since been removed.

In the last year Carmean, who was also one of the driving forces behind Pentium 4, has been acting as head of the team of developers working on Nehalem. The new processor has been designed from scratch and will not have anything in common with Pentium 4. Carmean strongly indicated that Nehalem will be marketed in 2004.

Meanwhile Intel is also developing a new security architecture codenamed LeGrande. This technology aims to establish a hardware environment which will entirely prevent external attacks, such as from a computer virus. The technology covers the chipset and the system memory including the hard disk drive and will also be incorporated into the new processor.

Until Nehalem emerges an improved version of the NetBurst architecture, which is used in Pentium 4, will be implemented in a processor codenamed Prescott. This processor will be based on .09 micron technology in 300mm wafers and will be ready for the market in the second half of 2003.