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Intel puts graphics, USB 2.0 on chipsets

Intel is bringing integrated graphics to a wide range of PCs today, as it launches a family of chipsets that also includes high-speed peripheral support with Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 technology.

The company will offer a range of chipsets based on the 845G chipset, which can be used with Pentium 4 processors as well as Celeron chips that use the Pentium 4's 478-pin packaging type. Gateway will be among the vendors to begin shipping systems based on the 845G as well as an 845GL chipset. The Gateway systems will be priced from $649 (£444).

Integrating graphics processing into a chipset saves the manufacturer from having to add a separate graphics card to a PC, reducing costs. Until now, integrated graphics capabilities for Intel-based PCs have been offered only for value-priced systems.

USB 2.0 capability, available in many peripherals, offers much faster communication between the PC and external devices such as scanners, digital cameras and printers. USB 2.0 has never been integrated into an Intel chipset before.

Intel will offer a wide range of chipsets based on the 845G for value-priced, mainstream and performance-oriented systems, according to Intel spokesman George Alfs. The 845G will support both 400MHz and 533MHz front side bus speeds and DDR SDRAM (double data rate synchronous dynamic RAM), he said.

The lower end 845GL will support exclusively the 400MHz front side bus used with the 478-pin Celeron chips, according to a Gateway representative. It will also support DDR.

Gateway will offer models of its 300 and 500 series PCs using the new chipsets, ranging from the $649 Celeron-based Gateway 300LS to the $1,499 Pentium 4-based Gateway 500X.

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