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Intel launches chip line for large notebooks

Intel has added a third mobile processor line to its roster with the launch of the Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor, designed for heavy desktop-replacement notebooks.

The latest chip allows the company to offer notebook manufacturers a processor optimised for a mobile environment which can still deliver desktop-calibre performance, said Shannon Johnson, an Intel spokeswoman. The chips will launch at clock speeds of 3.06GHz, 2.8GHz, 2.66GHz, and 2.4GHz, but can switch to a 1.6GHz battery mode using less power.

The Intel Mobile Pentium 4 processors can run at higher frequencies and hotter temperatures than the Mobile Intel Pentium 4-M processors previously recommended by Intel for larger notebooks, Johnson said. Intel raised the maximum wattage from about 45 watts in the Mobile Intel Pentium 4-M to about 70 watts in the new chips,. As more power flows through a chip, power increases, but so does heat.

The new chips are, essentially, versions of Intel's desktop Pentium 4 processor which come with Intel's Speedstep technology for reducing power in between processing tasks, and even keystrokes. By applying power only when needed, this technology can help reduce the overall heat coming from the processor.

Dell released a desktop-replacement notebook yesterday based on Intel's latest processor line. The Inspiron 5150 comes with a 3.06GHz Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor, and is designed to be used as a home multimedia machine.

A base configuration with the 3.06GHz processor, 256M bytes of DDR SDRAM, a 30G-byte hard drive, a 15-inch display, and a DVD-ROM drive costs $1,549.

Intel now has a variety of similarly named mobile processors, including the Pentium M, the Mobile Intel Pentium 4-M, and the Mobile Intel Pentium 4.

As part of Wednesday's announcement, Intel increased the speed of the Mobile Intel Pentium 4-M processor to 2.6GHz, which will be the last speed bump for that processor line.

The Mobile Intel Pentium 4-M will be gradually phased out over the rest of this year, subject to customer demand, Johnson said. Later this year, Intel is expected to launch Dothan, its first mobile processor built on its 90-nanometer process technology.

Prices for the new Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processors range from $417 for the 3.06GHz chip to $186 for the 2.4GHz chip, in quantities of 1,000 units. The new Mobile Intel Pentium 4-M chip is priced at $562, also in 1,000-unit quantities.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service


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