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Intel tries to rule by confusion

Intel ships yet more incomprehensibly named chips

Intel is keeping the pressure on its low-power processor rival Transmeta, launching today a handful of new speed upgrades to its increasingly confusing array of low-voltage products. Intel also threw in a new standard-voltage mobile Celeron for good measure.

Intel adds to its mobile arsenal the 600MHz ultra-low voltage Mobile PIII with Speedstep, the 750MHz low-voltage Mobile PIII with Speedstep, the 600MHz ultra-low voltage Mobile Celeron, the 600MHz low-voltage Mobile Celeron and, finally, an 800MHz Mobile Celeron.

It's becoming more difficult to keep track of Intel's various long-titled low and ultra-low voltage products, but the company's carpet-bombing strategy seems to be working.

The new chips "definitely give Intel an improvement in performance at the low end of the power spectrum - that's a welcome addition in mini-notebooks and thin-and-light notebooks," says Kevin Krewell, senior analyst with MicroDesign Resources.

Krewell thinks, however, that Intel's current mobile processor line-up is an interim solution. The company's next mobile Pentium, codenamed Tualatin and due out later this year, will provide even better performance at a low voltage, he says.

For now, mainstream, value-priced notebooks can use the 800MHz Celeron, while thin-and-light units can use either the 750MHz PIII with Speedstep or 600MHz Celeron. Mini-notebooks, especially popular in Japan, can now use 600MHz PIII with Speedstep or the 600MHz Celeron chips. Each consumes one watt of power or less.

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