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Intel readies new mobile CPUs

Chip maker to unveil five processors for notebooks

Intel on Monday will introduce what a source close to the company called "the fastest mobile processors in the industry," two of which arrive with a new twist from Intel: single-watt power consumption, a benchmark formally held exclusively by Transmeta's Crusoe processor.

Intel will unveil five processors, readied for all three classes of mobile computing: full size desktop replacements; thin and light; and ultralight.

For the full-size and thin-and-light categories, Intel will offer a 750-MHz Pentium III and two mobile Celeron processors running at both 650 MHz and 600 MHz.

For the ultralight category, Intel will announce a breakthrough Pentium III SpeedStep processor running at somewhere near the 600-MHz mark and consuming only one watt of power.

Also for the ultralight portables, Intel will unveil a mobile Celeron processor that performs at a single speed of 500 MHz while consuming less than two watts of power.

Monday's announcement from Intel will spark new competition between the chip maker and Transmeta, which recently announced that its low-power Crusoe processor will appear in a jointly branded America Online/Gateway 2000 Internet appliance by the Christmas shopping season in the US.

Crusoe is 6x86 compatible and it offers performance roughly comparable to Intel's Pentium II and Pentium III processors when running at the same frequency on Linux, according to Transmeta officials.

Like the new Intel chips, Crusoe's low-power features make it ideal for mobile computing. Crusoe also incorporates a Transmeta technology called Long Run, which adjusts the processor frequency on the fly, depending on overall system needs.

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