RealTime IT News

Intel Continues its 90-nm Mobile Rollout

Intel added a handful of new mobile chips to address both the desktop replacement and thin-and-light notebook markets, the company said Tuesday.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaking giant launched its second-generation Pentium M processor based on 90-nanometer (nm) process technology alongside the expansion of the Celeron M Processor family.

The new Pentium M chips -- 538, 532, and 518 -- offer support for Intel's Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology; a larger, 1 megabyte Level 2 cache; 13 new Streaming SIMD 3 Extensions (SSE3); enhancements to the Intel NetBurst microarchitecture; and speeds of 3.20 GHz ($294), 3.06 GHz ($234) and 2.80 GHz ($202), respectively.

The chips also offer low-thermal technology to prevent the notebook from burning a hole in users' laps. Intel said the three cores are ready now and dovetail with its Intel 852GME and Intel 852PM chipsets.

Intel's new mobile Celeron 340 features 512 kilobytes of L2 cache, speeds of up to 1.50 GHz, with a 400 MHz system bus, and operates at a lower core voltage than the regular Intel Celeron processor. Designed for the thin-and-light notebook set, the chip sells for 134 in 1,000 unit quantities and iscompatible with the Intel 855 chipset family, as well as the Intel 852GM chipset.

The mobile chips come at a time when Intel brass is touting mobility as "the killer application." Last month, the company debuted its 90-nm "Dothan" core for its fabled Centrino chipset.

The next phase will be Intel's Sonoma platform, which is expected to influence its Pentium M chips with improved graphics, TV out and support for security 802.11i, and 802.11a,b, and g. The notebooks will use ExpressCards based on PCI Express, and DDR-2.

The company is also touting its upcoming Extreme Graphics 3 core, which IT sites say may be formally dubbed Graphics Media Accelerator.

During its recent analysts' meeting, Intel CFO Andy Bryant said the company has already seen the fruits of the Wi-Fi craze, noting the company has raked in some $3 billion in sales since the Centrino launch last year.

Intel is scheduled to provide its usual mid-quarter business update on June 3, which may include an update on mobile sales.

In a research report published this morning, Merrill Lynch analysts said it expected sales to track better than seasonally, but unit demand data so far, including the just-published SIA numbers, doesn't support the higher numbers.

"Based on our checks with suppliers and distributors, it appears that second quarter PC shipments are tracking seasonally, while the notebook inventory issue has been resolved," Merrill Lynch analysts said in its newsletter to investors. "We expect Intel to narrow its revenue target from $7.6-$8.2 billion to $7.8-$8.0 billion; the mid-point represents a 2 percent sequential decline, which is in line with seasonal trends."