Buoyed by strong second quarter results, Texas Instruments has set itself a goal of expanding its 7.2 per cent of the notebook market to 10 per cent by the end of the third quarter.
David Finn, Texas Instruments director of marketing and sales, says TI is targeting the corporate sector as the area where it will pick up many of the new sales required to make the 10 per cent market share goal. At the head of the TI corporate charge is the soon-to-be-announced TravelMate 6000 notebook that Finn says will provide heavy-duty functionality at a "very competitive price point". The PCI-based systems from TI are expected to come with 1.6Gb hard disk drives and 11.3in active matrix LCDs with a maximum resolution of 800 by 600.
Across TI's range of notebooks, Finn says he doesn't see price points coming down much, but he does anticipate increased functionality being on offer. "I think what you'll see is people getting more bang for their buck," he said.
According to Finn, TI is maintaining its three-tier notebook structure and price points: entry level (approximately $3,000), mid-level/business ($4,500Ð$5,000) and high-end/power user ($5,500Ð$7,500), but is focused on increasing functionality in terms of processor power, hard disk space, RAM and battery life. On the processor front, Intel is expected to announce a 100MHz Mobile Pentium in early February and a 133MHz version in early March, and Texas Instruments is expected to incorporate both processors. Sources say both of the processors will sport a faster 66MHz CPU bus speed, increasing performance over the current 50ÊandÊ60MHzÊbus speeds.
Industry watchers say many of the high-end 133MHz systems from a variety of vendors, not just TI, will have a common feature set, including: hard disk drives with capacities exceeding 1.5Gb; 11.3in and 12.1in LCD screens; integrated quad-speed CD-ROM drives; 32-bit CardBus slots from some vendors as early as the second quarter; MPEG video and Zoom video support; 64-bit video, which will later move to 128-bit to support 3-D graphics; 16Mb of RAM standard; and PCI bus.
Mid-range systems based on the 100MHz processor - which is expected to replace the 90MHz systems for many vendors - will likely also come with quad-speed CD-ROM drives and 11.3in LCDs and use the PCI bus.
Recent IDC figures indicate TI is on a strong rebound from the troubles it experienced late last year. "Among specialist users, Texas Instruments products have always had the highest reputation for technical excellence. The IDC figures suggest that we have now attained the price/performance combination that appeals to a broader market segment," Finn said.
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