Intel Corp. increased the top speed of its Mobile Pentium 4-M processor and added two new Mobile Celeron processors to its lineup recently.

The Mobile Pentium 4-M now comes in a 2.5GHz version, a bump up from the previous clock speed leader, the 2.4GHz processor. The Mobile Pentium 4-M was Intel’s primary chip for notebooks until the launch of the Pentium M in March. Desktop replacement notebooks will use the Mobile Pentium 4-M, which is a modified version of the Pentium 4 desktop processor. The Pentium M is a new processor design that incorporates performance features in the Pentium 4 with some low-power features found in the Pentium III, and is Intel’s primary chip for thin-and-light and ultraportable notebooks.

AMD touts new twist for 64-bit servers

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has unveiled its Opteron chip, which the company says makes it easier for businesses to transition to more powerful 64-bit servers that can support increasingly demanding applications.

The twist with the Opteron is that it uses the x86 instruction set with 64-bit extensions, meaning it can run 32- and 64-bit applications simultaneously. That contrasts with Intel Corp.’s 64-bit Itanium, which Intel says runs 32-bit applications but with performance degradation. AMD concedes that Opteron will not compete with Itanium, initially at least, but rather is an alternative migration path for businesses considering a move to 64-bit computing. The one-way and eight-way processors will ship later in the second quarter with prices for both on par with Intel’s 32-bit Xeon processor. The major server vendors say they have looked at the Opteron, but none have committed to putting the processor into their boxes. Opteron is not without some big-name support. Microsoft Corp. recently announced that Windows Server 2003 would support Opteron, Red Hat Inc. has said its Linux will run on the processor, and IBM last summer ported its DB2 software to run on the chip.