Intel launches mobile chip for large notebooks

Intel launches mobile chip for large notebooks

Intel has added a third mobile processor line to its roster with the launch of the Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor, designed for heavy desktop-replacement notebooks.

The new chip allowed the company to offer notebook manufacturers a processor optimised for a mobile environment that can still deliver desktop-calibre performance, Intel spokeswoman, Shannon Johnson, said.

The new chips will launch at clock speeds of 3.06GHz, 2.8GHz, 2.66GHz, and 2.4GHz, but can switch to a 1.6GHz battery mode that uses less power.

Consumers have made desktop-replacement notebooks one of the hottest selling products among PCs this year. Those notebooks aren't suitable for travel, but can play movies or download Internet content at desktop speeds while still offering a degree of mobility, even if it's just from room to room.

Many notebook makers have released notebooks with desktop processors in order to reach that level of performance, but those notebooks can be prone to overheating.

Toshiba is still involved in litigation over a notebook it released in 2002 with a desktop processor that was unable to run at its advertised speed due to processor overheating.

The new Intel Mobile Pentium 4 processors could run at higher frequencies and hotter temperatures than the Mobile Intel Pentium 4-M processors previously recommended by Intel for larger notebooks, Johnson said.

Intel raised the maximum wattage from about 45 watts in the Mobile Intel Pentium 4-M to about 70 watts in the new chips, she said.

As more power flows through a chip, power and heat increase.

The new chips were essentially versions of Intel's desktop Pentium 4 processor that came with its Speedstep technology for reducing power in between processing tasks, and even keystrokes, Johnson said.

By applying power only when needed, this technology could help reduce the overall heat coming from the processor.

Dell has released a desktop-replacement notebook based on Intel's new processor line.

The Inspiron 5150 came with a 3.06GHz Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor, and was designed to be used as a home multimedia machine, the company said.

A base configuration with the 3.06GHz processor, 256MB of DDR SDRAM, a 30GB hard drive, a 15-inch display, and a DVD-ROM drive costs $US1549.

Later this year, Intel is expected to launch Dothan, its first mobile processor built on its 90-nanometer process technology.

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