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Intel launches 1GHz mobile pentium III

The Intel 1GHz mobile Pentium III chip is noted for its availability, not its speed, and such was the case with the official launch – it just wasn’t quick enough for some companies.

The Intel 1GHz mobile Pentium III is noted for its availability, not its speed, and such was the case with the official launch – it just wasn’t quick enough for some companies, such as Hewlett-Packard, which hit the market a day earlier with its Pavilion N6395, featuring the chip.

According to Intel, the chip has been designed into approximately 16 notebooks from 12 manufacturers. “This is a real launch with real products,” said Don MacDonald, director of marketing for the Mobile Platforms Group at Intel, which also announced mobile versions of a 900MHz Pentium III and 750MHz Celeron.

The systems will be aimed at the high-end niche buyers, looking to replace their desktop machines with notebooks. “Inventory levels aren't huge for this, as you might expect,” said Bob Nitzberg, HP's notebook retail marketing manager for North America.

The 1 GHz mobile Pentium III operates at 1.7 volts, or 1.35V when using the powered-down SpeedStep mode, when the chip runs at 700MHz, and consumes less than 2 watts using the SpeedStep battery-optimised mode.

The chip uses a 100MHz front-side bus, slower than the desktop version's 133MHz bus. A finer, 0.13-micron “Tualatin” Pentium III is expected later in the year, when faster bus speeds may be introduced.

OEMs described the chip as an important milestone for the computing industry, pointing out that Intel's notebook chips are still a year behind the speeds of their desktop counterparts. But analyst firm, Mercury Research, is questioning the desktop-replacement market that the 1GHz chip is addressing. The research firm predicts that in 2001 only 19.4% of all PCs shipped will be notebooks, a mere increase of less than 0.5 % from 2000.

While in the race to introduce the chip into the market Hewlett-Packard was first, Dell, Gateway, Compaq and Toshiba are all expected to hit the market soon with their notebooks featuring the Pentium III chip. Acer, Fujitsu, Micron Electronics, NEC and WinBook Computer are also expected to join the competition.

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