Intel thinks small in mobile spotlight

The chip leader demonstrated at the Intel Developers Forum (underway in San Jose, California) everything from vendor notebooks with 1GHz processors to a new low-power chip, and the first pre-production notebook using Tualatin.

Intel executives showed off an attractive, blue, thin-and-light notebook from WinBook, featuring Intel's first mobile 1GHz chips. The new processor -- and notebooks it will power -- are due to launch before mid year. Both AMD and Transmeta are expected to launch new mobile processors in coming months.

Intel also launched its low-voltage mobile PIII with SpeedStep. Different from the ultra low-power chip for sub notebooks announced in January, the 700MHz chip is faster, but uses slightly more power. Intel targets the product for mini notebook models and says it still uses less than 1 watt of power during average use in its 500MHz battery-optimised mode.

Tualatin: Think small, integrated

While the 1GHz notebooks draw an emotional response similar to the first 1GHz desktops, and the new low-power 700MHz chip is impressive, the Tualatin demonstration is more significant from a technology standpoint.

Tualatin is the first Intel chip ever to use a .13-micron manufacturing process; current mobile and desktop processors come from a .18-micron process, says Frank Spindler, general manager of Intel's mobile platforms group. The new process means each chip has more, smaller, and faster transistors, which increases performance while requiring less power. The Dell notebook on display here is running at faster than 1GHz, according to Intel.

And Tualatin represents more than just a process change -- it's actually a new processor core, Spindler says.

Intel isn't saying much about the new chip except that its technology comes from the existing mobile PIII. However, Spindler promises "significant new features." The company is not yet telling the chip's real name.

Spindler is quick to point out, however, that Tualatin does not represent Intel's move to the Pentium 4 architecture in the mobile segment. That won't happen in 2001, he says.

Intel will launch its Tualatin chips starting in the second half of this year and expects to offer them first in mobile products. You'll see them in all segments by year-end, including notebooks that Intel classifies as full size, thin and light, mini notebook, and sub notebook, Spindler says.

A desktop version of Tualatin is also planned for release sometime this year, according to Intel sources.

Chip set supports notebooks

To accommodate Tualatin, Intel is preparing a new chip set called the 830M. Details are scarce, but Spindler says the product with use SDRAM and will soon replace the mainstream 440BX chip set that has dominated the mobile market since its introduction with the Pentium II in 1998, he says. Intel's 440MX chip set will continue to cater to the mini notebook and sub notebook markets, he says.

During questioning at the event, Spindler hinted the 830M could integrate more processing components, similar to the 815EM chip set, which includes integrated graphics. Increased integration helps cut manufacturing cost and can decrease power consumption, he says.

Despite Intel's continuing work to lower the power consumption of its processors and chip sets, Spindler notes that chips make up only about 10 per cent of the battery drain in a notebook.

To keep batteries running significantly longer, manufacturers of other notebook component must also lower power consumption, he says. The LCD in particular uses the most power of any component, Spindler says.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Mainelli

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?