Intel Cuts Prices On Mobile Chips

Discounts come as chip giant readies its next generation of mobile processors.

Intel Corp. continued making news in the mobile space, reducing prices this week of its notebook chips by up to 38 percent.

Intel, which in the early spring is expected to launch its Centrino line of energy-efficient chips—including its next generation mobile chip, which was codenamed Banias—and other mobile technology, cut the pricing of its 2.2GHz Mobile Pentium 4-M chip from $562 to $348, a 38 percent reduction. The company also cut the 2GHz version of the chip by 31 percent, from $348 to $241.

Other cuts include the 1.9GHz and 1.8GHz Pentium 4-M chips, from $241 to $198 and $198 to $171, respectively. Prices also were slashed for the 1GHz and 933MHz low-voltage Pentium III chips—used in ultralight notebooks—by 24 and 18 percent, and for the Mobile Celeron chips by anywhere from 10 percent to 16 percent.

Included in the Centrino group will be the Santa Clara, Calif., companys Banias chip, as well as related chip sets and 802.11 wireless networking technology. Intel is touting Banias as a chip that will outperform current mobile Pentium 4 processors while consuming less power than other chips, including the ultralow-power Pentium III-M processors.

Intel has yet to announce at what speed the new chip will be released, but industry representatives believe it will operate at 1.4GHz and 1.6GHz, both of which are below the fastest mobile Pentium 4 at 2.2GHz.

Other chip makers also are making strong runs at the mobile space, including Transmeta Corp., whose upcoming Astro chip will enable it to move up the notebook ladder and compete with Banias, according to officials at Transmeta, also of Santa Clara.