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Intel releases mobile chips for performance laptops

Intel has unveiled its first 90-nanometer chips designed for larger notebooks that offer greater performance but with less mobility.

The three Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processors - models 538, 532 and 518 - are also the second group of chips to come with Intel's latest processor numbering system.

The company introduced the numbering system last month as a way of communicating processor performance without Intel's traditional focus on clock speed.

Intel's Pentium M processor for thin-and-light notebooks enjoys a higher profile than the Mobile Intel Pentium 4 chip, but the two products target at different segments of the notebook market.

The Mobile Intel Pentium 4 is designed for the desktop-replacement category of notebooks, which has been very popular among consumers more concerned with performance and price than with weight and battery life.

The Mobile Intel Pentium 4 is based on the same 90-nanometer Prescott core as Intel's desktop Pentium 4 processors. The 538, 532 and 518 chips run at 3.2GHz, 3.06GHz and 2.8GHz, and cost $294, $234 and $202, respectively, in quantities of 1,000 units.

The Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processors have 1Mbytes of Level 2 cache, twice as much as older Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processors, as well as 13 new instructions that improve the performance of multimedia applications.

The rest of the power increase is thought to come from current leakage at the smaller dimensions of the 90-nanometer process technology, analysts have said when discussing the Prescott processors.

Power management features such as Intel's SpeedStep technology are included with the mobile processors to help match the clock speed of the processor with the requirements of a specific application task, but notebooks with the processors will need to be designed with the higher thermal output in mind.

Desktop replacement notebooks are generally equipped with heavier heat shields than their thin-and-light counterparts because of the extra heat dissipated by processors running at faster clock speeds.

Intel also released a Celeron M processor for budget notebooks. The Celeron M processor is based on the same architecture as the Pentium M processor, but contains half as much cache. This makes for a less expensive, therefore less powerful processor that costs $134 in quantities of 1,000 units.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service


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