Intel is set to announce on Monday, Oct. 1, what it claims is the fastest chip designed for mobile PCs, along with 11 other new processors designed for small and portable devices.
The star of the launch is a version of the Pentium III Processor-M that runs at 1.2 gigahertz - faster than many desktop PC processors on the market today. Intel will also announce a low-power Pentium III Processor-M at 700 megahertz that operates at 0.95 volt and uses less than half a watt when in Battery Optimized Mode, which slows performance but extends battery life.
The 1.2-GHz Pentium III Processor-M offers 35 percent to 60 percent better performance than the 1-GHz Pentium III designed for desktops, said Frank Spindler, vice president and general manager of Intels mobile platforms group.
"What we think this means is that these categories of systems will become increasingly popular to people, because every study of notebook usage has shown that people want the highest-performance system," Spindler said. "This sort of quantum leap in the mini- and subnotebook segments will help increase their popularity."
The new mobile processors are extensions to the Pentium III Processor-M family Intel first rolled out in July. For the first time, Intel now offers a complete range of chips for every segment of the mobile market, Spindler said. "We have an incredible array of product offerings . . . for every size, shape and weight of system, and every price point," he said.
Spindler said notebooks, subnotebooks and other systems that incorporate the newest Pentium III Processor-M chips will be available from PC manufacturers within the next 30 days.
Intel has grown much more aggressive in the mobile PC market, in the face of recent competition from traditional rival Advanced Micro Devices and Transmeta. Transmeta, which makes low-power chips for mobile PCs as well as thin servers, has won licensing deals with all of the major Japanese notebook makers, but in recent months it has struggled financially as PC makers have cut back or canceled chip orders.
Asked about how Intels new mobile products stack up against the competition, Spindler responded: "We know the existing Pentium III Processor-M family - before this introduction - were clearly, far and away, the highest-performers in the category, and also offered the lowest power consumption. We think we have now extended our lead in the category."
The new Pentium III Processor-M chips will range in price from $209 to $722 each for the 1.2-GHz chip. On the low end, Intel will offer six new Mobile Celeron chips, which will cost $75 to $134 per unit. In addition to those microprocessors, Intel will introduce two new integrated graphics chipsets for mobile computers: The Intel 830M and the lower-cost 803MG, which provide 113 percent and 68 percent better performance respectively than Intels previous 815EM chipset.