Intel to launch new mobile chips Tuesday, source says

Intel is set to roll out a faster version of its Pentium 4 processor for notebook users on Tuesday, according to a source familiar with the company's plans. In addition, the chip maker on Sunday cut prices by as much as 27 percent on some existing mobile chips, apparently in preparation for the launch.

New processors on tap for Tuesday include a Mobile Pentium 4 Processor-M running at 1.8 GHz, the source said. That is an improvement on the existing speeds in that family of 1.7 GHz and 1.6 GHz. Intel also will introduce slower versions of the chip to round out the product line, the source said.

It wasn't immediately clear which notebook makers would offer the chips in new systems, but at least a handful of major system makers typically climb on board for an Intel speed upgrade. The company plans to make sure the new chips are available at U.S. retail outlets, where they were sometimes hard to come by after the first mobile Pentium 4 processors were launched in March, the source said.

An Intel spokeswoman declined to comment on products that have not yet been announced.

The Santa Clara, California, chip maker competes with Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in the market for PC chips.

On Sunday, Intel cut prices of its Mobile Pentium III-M Processor family, which is based on an older chip architecture than the Mobile Pentium 4 Processor-M. The price of the 1.2GHz version fell 21 percent to $401, while the price of the 1.13GHz version was cut by 27 percent, to $294. The 1.06GHz and 1.0GHz versions each fell 18 percent in price, to $241 and $198, respectively, Intel said. Prices are for chips bought in 1,000-unit quantities.

The Pentium III Processor-M comes with a 133MHz or 100MHz system bus and uses Intel's P6 microarchitecture. The Pentium 4 processor-M comes with a 400MHz system bus and uses Intel's newer NetBurst microarchitecture.

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