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Intel 700MHz mobile part will cause tears

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The notebook manufacturers Intel considers to be tier one PC companies will receive supplies of a 700MHz Pentium III notebook processor shortly, with other firms in the food chain queuing up in the chip equivalent of a soup kitchen. Intel told PC vendors, system builders, distributors and dealers that a 700MHz Pentium III notebook chip was to be introduced yesterday, but now we understand from reliable sources that tier one firms are going to get first bite of the mobile cherry. That has angered smaller companies fighting desperately to maintain margins and compete with the PC giants on their notebook offerings. The 700MHz part, which uses Intel's SpeedStep technology to help eke out battery life, will go to vendors Toshiba, Compaq, HP, IBM and Dell long before other customers get a chance to integrate the processor into their notebooks. That follows disquiet amongst the Big Five at the introduction of 0.18 micron Coppermine mobile Pentium III technology on 25 October last. PC companies, including Toshiba and IBM, moaned bitterly at Intel for only giving them samples of the mobile chips a couple of days before their launch, which turned out to be an introduction in name only. Intel's famous "level playing field" now resembles the soccer pitch we used to play on as kids, which had a ramp of around 15 degrees, meaning that those on the top of the hill had an advantage in the first half, as the football, abetted by gravity, trickled downwards, and the opposing team struggled to climb the hill. Yesterday we reported price reductions Intel made on its range of mobile microprocessors. ®

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