SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- In an attempt to corner the mobile microprocessor market, Intel Corp. here today announced 12 new central processing units for notebook PC systems, including the world's fastest product for this segment to date.
The new product launch is aimed to expand Intel's market share lead in the four major and separate mobile PC segments: mainstream, thin-and-light, mini-notebooks, and sub-notebooks/tablet PCs, according to analysts. It is also geared to fend off competitive threats from its processor rivals, most notably Advanced Micro Devices, Transmeta, and Via.
With today's major and complex announcement, Intel extended its narrow lead in the performance race by rolling out a 1.2-GHz version of its Pentium III processor-M family of chips. Geared for mainstream notebook PCs, the mobile Pentium III processor-M chips are based on the company's new 0.13-micron technology.
The Santa Clara-based chip giant also extended its 0.13-micron technology down to its separate "low-voltage" and "ultra-low-voltage" mobile processor lines. These two chip lines, targeted for the mini- and sub-notebook segments, were previously based on 0.18-micron technology.
Moreover, the company also unveiled its first 0.13-micron Celeron chip for entry-level mobile applications. It also rolled out five other mobile Celerons, based on 0.18-micron technology.
The new products, which have been somewhat expected for months, are geared to expand's Intel's mobile processor share.
"Mobile PCs are extending their capabilities," said Frank E. Spindler, vice president of the Intel Architecture Group and its general manager of mobile platforms. The new chips will extend Intel's "clear leadership in the mobile market," Spindler said in a press briefing on Friday.
The chips will also put some pressure on its processor rivals, most notably Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Transmeta Corp., according to analysts.
In June, Transmeta raised the bar by rolling out the industry's first 0.13-micron mobile devices, which run between 600- to 800-MHz. A 1-GHz version is supposedly due out later this year (see June 13 story ). At the same time, Transmeta has also collected an impressive list of design wins, including some of Intel's best customers: Fujitsu, Sony, Toshiba, and others.
Then, Intel struck back in July, when the company rolled out its first 0.13-micron chips. Dubbed the Pentium III processor-M line of mobile devices, the company rolled out a 1.13-GHz version of the family, its fastest chip in this segment, that is until now (see July 30 story ).
In August, AMD rolled out its fastest mobile processor to date--a 1.1-GHz version of its Athlon 4 microprocessor line, based on 0.18-micron technology. At the time, AMD said that it is aiming for 50% share in U.S. mobile PC processor shipments through retail channels by the end of 2001 (see Aug. 20 story ).
Executives from Intel hinted the company has no plans to give away any market share to its rivals, especially AMD. To fend off its competitors, Intel not only announced 12 new processors today, but it is also quietly sampling the world's first Pentium 4 microprocessors for high-end notebook PCs (see Aug. 29 story ).
"We expect to introduce the mobile Pentium 4 in the first half of next year," Spindler said during last week's briefing.
The Pentium 4 mobile processor, along with most of today's new chips, are based on the company's new 0.13-micron technology, which includes copper-interconnects and low-power features. "What we're seeing is a rapid transition to 0.13-micron technology," Spindler said.
The new chips also includes Intel's "Enhanced Speed Step" and other low-power technologies.
The introduction includes the 1.2-GHz processor-M line for mainstream notebook PC products. This processor consists of 512-kilobytes of Level 2 cache and consumes less than 1.5 Watts of power.
The company also rolled out three chips in its "low-voltage" family, including a 733-, 750-, and 800-MHz versions. Meanwhile, it also announced one product in its "ultra-low-voltage" family, including a 700-MHz device.
It also unveiled its first 0.13-micron Celeron chip, which runs at 650-MHz. It also rolled out five 0.18-micron Celeron chips for mobile applications, including a 733-, 800-, 866-, 900-, and 933-MHz versions.
Intel also formally announced the 830M and 830MG line of chip sets for the mobile market. Product prices for the processors and chip sets depend upon the model.