Intel launches Celeron M chip line

Intel launches Celeron M chip line

Intel Corp. extended its low-cost chip strategy to its Pentium M product family Monday, launching three new Celeron chips for budget notebooks.

The new Intel Celeron M chips complement the Pentium M processor, and are designed for thin and light notebooks. Like Intel's desktop Celeron processors, the Celeron M processors come with half as much cache as their higher performance counterparts and run at slower clock speeds, an Intel spokeswoman said.

Intel actually released the ultra-low voltage version of the Celeron M processor in December to Motion Computing Inc., which used the chip in its M1300 Tablet PC. That chip ran at 800MHz, and two other standard-voltage chips will run at 1.3GHz and 1.2GHz. The chips come with 512K bytes of Level 2 cache, half the Pentium M's 1M byte of cache.

The idea behind the Celeron brand is to offer processors that contain the bulk of Intel's latest chip technologies, but at slower clock speeds and lower performance than the premium product line. The new Celeron M chips contain the same architectural features built into the Pentium M to decrease power consumption and lengthen battery life, but by disabling half the cache of the Pentium M, Intel can charge less for the chip and move the technology into cheaper notebooks.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. recently did the same thing with its high-end Athlon 64 chip, releasing a lower-performing version of the flagship processor with half the cache of its predecessor.

The 1.3GHz and 1.2GHz chips cost US$134 and US$107, respectively, in quantities of 1,000 units. The slowest Pentium M on Intel's price list, a 1.3GHz Pentium M chip, costs US$209 with the full 1M byte of cache.

The 800MHz chip costs US$161, also in quantities of 1,000 units. All three chips are available immediately.

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