Intel will offer its 1GHz mobile processors to system integrators as a boxed product, according to Sean Casey from Intel architecture product marketing.
"We are creating an opportunity for local vendors with a boxed CPU which enables them to integrate the chip into built-to-order notebooks," Casey said at the launch of Intel's mobile Pentium III GHz processor recently. "We are trying to enable our local channel partners as well as our OEM customers."
Asus, FIC and Mitac will be amongst the first system integrators to offer built-to-order notebooks featuring the chip.
Notebook vendors such as NEC, IBM, Toshiba and Gateway previewed their 1GHz offerings recently as part of the launch, described by Casey as "a new milestone" in the GHz race between Intel and rival AMD. More than 20 notebooks featuring the new chip will soon make their way onto the market.
Intel also announced a 900MHz PIII processor and its 750MHz mobile Celeron offering. Both PIII offerings feature Intel's SpeedStep technology, which allows the 1GHz processor to power down to 700MHz when the notebook is not running intensive applications to save on battery life.
According to Casey, the average power consumption of the processors will drop off significantly when Intel shifts to 0.13-micron manufacturing in the second half of this year. The 0.13-micron technology will also enable Intel to begin developing Pentium 4 mobile CPUs.
"People just love the 1GHz number, so 1GHz for mobile devices is big news," Casey said.
Mobile CPUs are smaller than desktop counterparts and have different thermal characteristics that allow them to run at higher temperatures, allowing for the challenges of managing heat dissipation in a compact space.
Casey believes the driving factors in the notebook market are segmented around power and performance. To that end, Intel's new offerings are aimed at providing a full range of products to address the power-to-performance ratio.
The 1GHz notebooks are expected to make a bigger splash in the corporate market than in the retail space, although Casey is adamant there will definitely be a market for consumers.
"I think digital video editing could be a driver for consumers, although I tend to lean toward the business side," he said.
In 1000-unit quantities, in Ball Grid Array and Pin Grid Array packaging, the 1GHz processor is priced at $722. Similarly, the 900MHz offering costs $562 and the Celeron $170.