Intel unleashes new mobile chips

With an emphasis on the freedom of wireless technology, Intel Corp. here on Tuesday kicked off a campaign to push a new, faster set of Pentium 4 Processor-M (mobile) chips to the mobile computing market.

At a launch event inside New York’s Grand Central Terminal, Intel introduced three new Processor-M chips running at speeds of 1.4GHz, 1.5GHz, and 1.8GHz. All are based on Intel’s NetBurst chip architecture, which improves the quality of graphic-rich applications and Internet-related computing, according to Intel.

Flanked by a number of its mobile computer original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners including Dell Computer Corp., IBM Corp., Compaq Computer Corp., and WinBook Inc., Intel’s message was that consumers are demanding untethered, high-performance mobile computing in their daily lives, and that such technology exists today.

Overseeing Intel’s New York launch, Don MacDonald, the director of marketing for Intel’s mobile processor division, said that advances in wireless technology, chip performance, and battery conservation will soon “beg the question of ‘How did I survive with a wired, static computing environment?’ “

The new Processor-M chips deliver added horsepower to more effectively drive wireless accessories on laptops, such as Bluetooth for wireless PANs (personal area networks) and 802.11 for wireless LANs (local area networks), MacDonald said. The increased clock speeds of the new Processor-M chips also improve the performance of popular applications such as digital music, photography, and gaming, he said.

Pricing for the new Intel Pentium 4 Processor-M chips starts at US$637 for a 1.8GHz chip, $268 for a 1.5GHz chip, and $198 for a 1.4GHz chip, when purchasing in lots of 1,000 chips, according to Intel.

All of the OEM laptop systems that were on display at the launch running the new Pentium 4 Processor-M chips were suited with either Bluetooth, 802.11, or a combination of both wireless technologies.

Earlier this week Intel cut prices by as much as 27 per cent on some existing mobile chips, apparently in preparation for the launch.

The first mobile Pentium 4 processors were launched in March.

The Santa Clara, Calif., chipmaker competes with Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in the market for PC chips.

On Sunday, Intel cut prices of its Mobile Pentium III-M Processor family, which is based on a chip architecture older than the Mobile Pentium 4 Processor-M. The price of the 1.2GHz version fell 21 percent to US$401, whereas the price of the 1.13GHz version was cut by 27 percent, to $294. The 1.06GHz and 1.0GHz versions each fell 18 percent in price, to $241 and $198, respectively, Intel said. Prices are for chips bought in 1,000-unit quantities.

The Pentium III Processor-M comes with a 133MHz or 100MHz system bus and uses Intel’s P6 microarchitecture. The Pentium 4 processor-M comes with a 400MHz system bus and uses Intel’s newer NetBurst microarchitecture.