SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- As expected, Intel Corp. here today cut a broad swath into the low-power mobile microprocessor market today with the launch of five new processors.
In addition, Intel rolled out the Intel 815 and Intel 815E chip sets for the desktop computing market.
The release of the mobile microprocessors has already attracted attention from Transmeta Corp., which Intel is challenging with a new 600-MHz mobile Pentium III processor. That chip, which runs at 1.1 V, consumes approximately 1 watt, Intel executives claimed.
"We want to deliver performance very, very power-efficiently so that there's no compromise," said Frank Spindler, vice president and general manager of Intel's Mobile Platforms Group, during a press conference today.
Two of Intel's mobile microprocessors feature a new version of the company's SpeedStep technology, which reduces operating voltages further. A 750-MHz mobile Pentium III running at 600 MHz while on battery power, will complement two fixed-speed 650- and 600-MHz Celerons for the full-size and thin-and-light segments. Intel's new chips for the ultraportable market will include a fixed-speed 500-MHz Celeron, whose 1.2-V operating voltage will reduce power to less than 2 W, and the flagship 600-MHz Pentium III, which runs at 500 MHz when in battery mode.
"These numbers, in terms of average power consumption for these processors, are very very comparable to statements Transmeta has made on power consumption," Spindler said.
Executives at Transmeta in Santa Clara last week said that their own rival TM5400 incorporates the core-logic chip set's north bridge, while the Pentium III does not, adding 2 to 5 W to Intel's power budget. According to Ed McKernan, Transmeta's vice president of marketing, Intel's AGP bus tacks on an additional 3 to 4 W. Both the north bridge of the TM5400 and the associated low-power double-data-rate SDRAM can be controlled using the Transmeta LongRun technology, saving additional power, he said.
An Intel spokesman at press time he was unable to confirm or deny Transmeta's estimates.
Available in lots of 1,000, the 750-MHz Pentium III costs $562, while the low-power Pentium III is $316. The mobile 650- and 600-MHz Celerons are $181 and $134, respectively. The low-power 500-MHz Celeron chip is also $134.
In the desktop space, Intel debuted the Intel 815 and 815E chip sets as replacements to the mainstream 440BX chip set architecture. The Intel 815 supports a 133-MHz front-side bus, and adds support for PC100 and PC133 SDRAM. The chip set includes an AGP interface at up to 4X speeds, but with the additional option to add a third-party graphics chip to allow upgrades. A single USB version 1.1 controller is included.
The 815E is identical to the Intel 815, save for the inclusion of the second-generation I/O controller hub or ICH-2. The ICH-2 provides a second Universal Serial Bus controller , a Local Area Network (LAN) interface, dual Ultra ATA/100 storage controllers, and up to six channels of audio.
Intel also announced the D815EEA, its own 815-based motherboard, with support for Intel's recently announced Communications and Networking Riser (CNR) card.
In 1,000-unit quantities, the Intel 815 Chip set is priced at $41 and the Intel 815E is $46. Systems using both chip sets are currently shipping from a variety of computer manufacturers. The Intel D815EEA motherboard will be available through resellers beginning this week for prices estimated between $150 and $170, depending on features.