Intel readies first 1GHz mobile chip

In line with Intel CEO Craig Barrett's belief that new products and innovation will drive the industry out of a recession, Intel will not let up on trying to close the gap between desktop computing performance and mobile performance.

"The gap between the notebook and the desktop has really opened up recently, and Intel has to close that gap," said Stacy Wu, an analyst at industry research firm Mobile Insights.

"I think this is one of [Intel's] strategies to keep the trend in moving from desktop to mobile computing on schedule. Intel has to go forward; the economy can't stop that," Wu said.

With the release of the 1GHz processor, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, WinBook, and Toshiba on Monday will each introduce mobile systems powered by the Intel chip. IBM and Compaq are expected to follow, Wu believes.

"In times of economic uncertainty, the PC industry historically responds by upping the ante on price performance," explained Anne Camden, the manager of public relations for the Latitude laptop line at Dell.

Dell will roll out the 1GHz chip in the company's new Latitude C800 notebook computer. With a 15-inch UXGA display, a 10GB hard drive, and the option of a fixed CD-ROM, CD-RW, or DVD drive, Dell wants to give its customers more bang for their buck with the Latitude C800, Camden said. Designed for business customers in search of a full-PC replacement, the Dell Latitude C800 starts at $US2,559.

Hewlett-Packard will house the 1GHz chip in its HP OmniBook 6000. Also designed as a PC replacement for the enterprise, the OmniBook 6000 can pack as much as 512MB of RAM and 30GB of hard drive memory for about $US4,000, according to HP officials.

WinBook will introduce the 1GHz chip within the aluminium chassis of its WinBook Z1 laptop. WinBook officials believe their aluminium chassis is designed to better dissipate the heat generated by the operation of a 1GHz chip.

Toshiba will deliver the chip in its Tecra 8200 laptop, according to company officials.

Each of the new mobile systems from Dell, HP, WinBook, and Toshiba offer wireless LAN connectivity options.

As for the takers, "mostly small and midsize companies will jump on the megahertz bandwagon" and companies that will receive the new systems as part of their leasing contracts, Wu said.

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