Intel validates Pentium M for networking products

The new architecture of the Pentium M processor allows it to be used in not just small notebooks, but any device that needs to pack a lot of processing power into a small space, Intel said Monday. The company announced it has certified the new processor for use in the control planes of networking devices, it said in a release.

When it was announced as part of Intel's Centrino package in March, the Pentium M was touted as a fresh processor design, combining high-performance elements of the Pentium 4 processor with low-power elements of the Pentium III processor. This design also makes the chip ideal for control planes in small networking devices such as routers and media gateway controllers, said Jonathan Luse, communications industry marketing manager for Intel.

With Monday's announcement, Intel has validated the Pentium M for use along with Intel's e7501 chipset in networking devices, he said.

Control planes direct packet traffic within networking devices. The Pentium M is best suited for edge networking devices and other dense communications equipment such as switches, routers, or security appliances, Luse said. It consumes between 12 and 25 watts of power during normal use, making it ideal for control planes that are stacked in networking devices like blade servers, Luse said.

Regular blade servers are also expected to surface that use the Pentium M processor, Intel said when it launched the chip.

A 1.6GHz version of the Pentium M for networking products costs US$625 in 10,000-unit quantities. A low-voltage 1.1GHz Pentium M is also available for $257 in 10,000-unit quantities. The combination of the Pentium M and e7501 will be available Monday in several products that are expected to be announced, Luse said.

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