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.”

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