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Grand slam from grand old man

Intel launches a plethora of mobile processors

Intel launched 12 new mobile processors today, including its fastest ever mobile chip. It also unveiled the first 0.13micron version of its entry-level mobile Celeron chip.

The 10 biggest US PC vendors will start selling portables powered by the new processors as of Monday, Intel said.

Offerings are split between versions of Intel's high-end Mobile Pentium III and its value-priced Celeron chips.

The company also launched two new versions of its 830 chipset that feature integrated graphics controllers, Frank Spindler, vice president and general manager of Intel's Mobile Platforms Group, announced in a conference call with the press on Friday.

The new chips are aimed at the mini-notebook, subnotebook and tablet PC categories, Spindler said. "The Pentium III mobile is now going to give us a huge boost in performance capability in these types of systems."

In the 0.13micron Mobile Pentium III family, Intel upped the top speed from the 1.13GHz version launched in July to today’s slightly faster1.2GHz offering.

Two of the other new processors run at 800MHz, one with a 133MHz frontside bus and one with a 100MHz frontside bus. Intel also launched a 733MHz chip with a 133MHz frontside bus and a 750MHz chip with a 100MHz frontside bus.

Intel has two versions of some of its chips — though both versions have the same clock speed, the difference is the speed of the path between the processor and the system's memory. Traditionally, they have featured identical pricing. Although it offers lower performance, the 100MHz version of the bus allows the processor to run with slightly less expensive RAM.

In addition, Intel announced the ultra-low voltage 700MHz Mobile Pentium III which runs at less than 0.5 watts, the lowest power consumption of any mobile offering from the company.

As one analyst pointed out, the new processors show Intel’s increasing focus on lowering power consumption. Previously it has concentrated on performance. "It took a little bit longer for these to launch; they said they would be launching them sooner," said Kevin Krewell, an analyst with MicroDesign Resources in Sunnyvale, California.

The delay could have been caused by Intel's desire to release the new processors near the release date of Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, which will be released at the end of October, Krewell said.


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