Intel to ship 2GHz Pentium 4-M

Intel is set to ship its first 2GHz Pentium 4-M (mobile) chip next week, according to sources familiar with the company's plans.

True to industry custom, the new chip will appear in laptop computers from Intel OEMs such as Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., and Gateway Inc.

But although the speedy new mobile processor will deliver improved performance to users of full-sized, PC-replacement notebook computers, enterprise customers looking for smaller, more efficient laptops may wait for a next-generation mobile chip from Intel code-named Banias, sources said.

The reason is heat, sources said.

Intel has done a "better than anticipated" job of reducing heat and increasing battery life with its Pentium 4-M products, but the chips still gobble up an average of 2 watts in terms of power consumption. This makes the chips ideal for full-sized laptops and two-spindle mobile systems, but all but shuts the chip out of smaller, ultra-portable devices sought by most enterprises for their mobile workforces, sources said.

Set to ship in 2003, Banias is built from the ground up as a mobile chip, whereas the Pentium 4-M has a desktop lineage, according to Intel.

Therefore, with Banias, companies stand to get better performance than from systems running Pentium 4-M chips, while enjoying improved power saving characteristics, sources said.

Intel maintains a policy of not discussing products prior to their official launch.

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Dan Neel

PC World

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