Intel Rolls Out Celeron M for Value Notebooks

Intel's Celeron M chip is a low-cost version of its Pentium M processor.

Intel Corp. announced Monday that it has begun shipping a low-cost Celeron version of its Pentium M processor, designed to bring extended battery life to the value notebook market.

The Celeron M, as the chip is now known, will ship at speeds just a grade slower than the Santa Clara, Calif., companys current Pentium M and ultra-low-voltage Pentium M offerings. The Celeron M will ship at 1.2GHz and 1.3GHz speeds. A special ultra-low-power version is also available, running at 800MHz, officials said.

In 1,000-unit lots, the Intel Celeron M processors at 1.30GHz and 1.20GHz are priced at $134 and $107, respectively; the ultra-low-power Celeron M is priced at $161. Each is priced about $150 less than the Pentium M and ultra-low-voltage Pentium M, which are sold together with the Intel 855GM chip set and Pro/Wireless 2100 802.11b wireless module.

The reduction in price will mean a corresponding drop in price for products that use Intels "mobility" processors, which include the Pentium M and Celeron M, analysts said. Throughout 2003, Pentium M notebooks were priced from $1,250 to about $1,700, slightly above the average notebook price of $1,300, said Stephen Baker, an analyst with The NPD Group, in Port Washington, N.Y. During the past 15 months, sub-$1,000 notebooks have represented less than 15 percent of the overall market, he said.

"Obviously if you go below $1,000 youre starting to talk about volume sales, although maybe not revenue," Baker said.

Although the new processor adds another variation to Intels product line, analysts said it will help settle Intels product portfolio into a few familiar segments. Over the last year, Intel has offered mobile versions of its Pentium 4 and Pentium III, both optimized for laptops and as full-speed "desktop replacement" chips. Intels Pentium M "Banias" processors stirred long battery life into the mix.

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