Intel has realised it abandoned the low end of the market last year, and has introduced a new chip to fill the gap, according to Anabelle Bits' director Maree Lowe.
"In mid last year, Intel probably realised it had given away a large part of the market it shouldn't have," Lowe told ARN yesterday.
She said it was a "very good move" by Intel to introduce the 300MHz Celeron chip, which will compete primarily with Advanced Micro Devices' (AMD) newly-released K6-2 chip.
Lowe claimed the chip would be targeted at volume buyers who are "a bit more budget conscious" and would be prepared to buy sub-$US1200 PCs.
"They are geared for home users and the small business market sectors," she said.
The Celeron 300MHz processor does not have an on-board cache. It is supported by the Intel 440EX AGPset, designed specifically for the low-end of the market.
Several vendors are set to announce systems based on the processor, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sony.
In 1000 unit quantities, the Intel Celeron 300MHz costs $US159 and the 266MHz version costs $US106. The accompanying MU440EX Micro ATX motherboards are also now available.