Intel changes mind, ships Haswell-based Pentium, Celeron processors

Intel moves away from its earlier plan to only ship Pentium and Celeron chips based on the latest Atom architecture

Aiming at budget laptops, Intel has started shipping new Pentium and Celeron processors based on the Haswell microarchitecture.

The Pentium and Celeron chips are stripped-down versions of fourth-generation Core processors, which are used in ultrabooks and more expensive laptops. Intel is providing a range of chips for laptops at different prices, and the Celeron chips are expected to be used in low-cost Chromebooks with Google's Chrome OS.

The new chips continue Intel's efforts to sell Pentium and Celeron chips based on Core architecture. Intel in June said that future Pentium and Celeron chips would be based on the same architecture used in the latest Atom tablet chips, code-named Bay Trail. However, Haswell provides better performance, and previous Pentium and Celeron chips based on Core architecture have sold well.

However, the company still plans to launch Pentium and Celeron chips based on Bay Trail for low-cost desktops and laptops.

The new chips include three dual-core Celeron and three dual-core Pentium processors. The 1.4GHz Celeron 2955U and 1.6GHz Celeron 2980U draw 15 watts of power, while the 2.0GHz Celeron 2950M draws 37 watts of power. The 1.20GHz Pentium 3560Y draws 11.5 watts of power, the 1.7GHz Pentium 3556U draws 15 watts of power, and the 2.3GHz Pentium 3550M draws 37 watts of power.

All the chips have 2MB of cache. But they won't carry the same graphics capabilities as the Core processors because of slower and older Intel integrated graphics processors. Also, the new chips lack some key performance-boosting technologies such as multithreading, in which two threads can be run simultaneously on one CPU core, and Turbo Boost, in which CPU speeds can be boosted or slowed down depending on processing power demanded by a task.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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