Intel to launch mobile Pentium 4 next week

Narrowing the performance gap between desktop and notebook computers, Intel Corp. next week will unveil the Pentium 4 processor for notebook computers.

The mobile Pentium 4 will be launched on March 4, according to an invitation sent by Intel to European journalists. Intel declined to publically provide further details on the processor, but a company source said the mobile Pentium 4 will initially be available in 1.6GHz and 1.7GHz versions, moving up to 2GHz by the end of the year.

The Pentium 4 is currently only available for desktops, with a recently announced 2.2GHz version topping the list.

Pricing of the mobile Pentium 4 processors, when bought in 1,000-unit quantities, will start at about the level of the mobile Pentium III 1.2GHz, Intel's current top mobile processor, which is listed at US$508, the source said. This implies a mobile Pentium III price cut will coincide with the mobile Pentium 4 launch. The mobile Pentium III processor series will slowly be phased out, according to the source.

Several notebook PC makers, including Toshiba Corp., will announce systems with the new processor together with the processor introduction, the source said.

The mobile Pentium 4 and the accompanying 845MP chipset offer the performance benefits of a desktop Pentium 4, but tailored for mobile use. An enhanced version of Intel's SpeedStep technology, for example, slows down the processor when the laptop is running on battery power, while another technology makes the system use less power when in sleep mode.

The 845MP chip set is similar to the 845 chip set used in the desktop Pentium 4 system. It includes a 400MHz processor-system bus, Intel's NetBurst architecture and supports the DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM) memory type. Intel first detailed the new chip set at the Microprocessor Forum last year.

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