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Intel Brings Hyper-Threading to Mobile Chips

Once the domain of its server chips, Intel Tuesday said it is bringing its Hyper-Threading technology to its Mobile Pentium 4 family.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip making giant said four of its upcoming P4 mobile chips -- 3.20 GHz, 3.06 GHz, 2.80 GHz and 2.66 GHz -- are being earmarked for portable notebook PCs, commonly referred to as desktop replacement notebooks.

The Mobile P4 is built on the Intel NetBurst architecture and features a 533 MHz system bus. The chips are priced as $653, $433, $294, and $234 in 1,000 unit quantities.

First onboard Intel's Hyper-Threading train is Dell , which said Tuesday that it will include the new 3.06GHz mobile chips in its Inspiron 5150 in the United States starting at $1,599

Hyper-Threading lets multithreaded operating systems and applications to view a single physical processor as if it were two logical processors. Intel says it's similar to watching television while talking on the phone and says that its can increase performance of an application by 40 percent. For example, a user can play a game while encoding audio or video, compressing images or composing special effects.

"We see the market segmenting into different areas such as portables and mobiles. What we are looking at with this release is the first time notebook user," Intel Manager Mobile Programs Karen Regis told internetnews.com. "This is a waterfall effect of sorts since we started Hyper-Threading on our portability roadmap back in June."

Each chip also supports Intel's power management technologies including Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology, Deep Sleep and Deeper Sleep.

Each chip uses less than 3.0 Watts and runs 1.55Volts maximum per 1.20V battery at full power.

"These are not chips for thin and light notebooks," Regis said. "These are more designed for replacement models you would transport between the bedroom and the kitchen that you go from power source to power source."

The idea for Hyper-Threading was the brainchild of Intel senior engineer Glenn Hinton back in 1993. The company has begun filtering in the multithreading designs into its Pentium 4 processors as early as 1996. In addition to its P4 and Xeon processors, the chip making giant plans on using Hyper-Threading for its Itanium 2 family starting next year.