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Intel mobile plans for next nine months unfold

Bluetooth, Solano-2M, faster clock speeds and power probs

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Intel will introduce two SpeedStep based mobile Pentium IIIs in September at speeds of 800MHz and 850MHz, according to a roadmap we viewed at Computex last week.

Further, as we pointed out in a separate story earlier today, it is positioning Bluetush technology for businesses, home and road-warrior activity.

In addition, a 9xxMHz SpeedStep processor it had originally slated for Q1 of next year, will be released at 900MHz, and probably announced pre-Christmas.

Intel's low voltage Pentium III mobile at 600MHz will be announced next this Monday, aimed at the so-called "back to school" market, while the 800MHz and 850MHz Pentium III mobiles will be mainstream units for the high end market, through until the end of Q4 2000. In September, Intel will release a Celeron mobile 700MHz part.

Got a socket in your notebook? From September you'll never know or not. MicroPGA-2 will be a BGA-2 CPU mounted on a circuit board with the tiniest, most delicate micropins around one millimetre high. The CPUs will be pin to pin compatible. Vendors can choose to use the expensive USD8 socket, if they wish. If you buy a notebook, you don't normally rip it apart to overclock it, so you will never know whether the vendor is a cheapskate or not. Suspect the worst, though.

We have it from a very reliable source that many Taiwanese manufacturers are even using Socket 370 in notebooks and have validated Pentium III 850s. The reason they're able to do this is because of the excellent thermal qualities of yer CuMine chip. But as you don't normally rip notebooks apart, you'll never know for sure whether there's a mobile chip in there or not, will you? Suspect the worst, though.

The mobile onslaught on the 19th next includes a 750MHz Pentium III at 1.6 volts, a 600MHz Pentium III at 1.35 volts, 650MHz and 600MHz Celeron notebook chips at 1.6 volts, and a 500MHz low voltage part for mini notebooks running at 1.35 volts. According to the roadmap, the 600MHz mini-notebook part will consume around 9.5 watts, but in battery optimised, SpeedStep mode, will shuffle in at around 5 watts.

The 850MHz and the 800MHz mobile Pentium IIIs, which also use SpeedStep, will run at 700MHz at 1.35 volts and at 650MHz at 1.35 volts, respectively, when the battery optimisation is in play.

Power consumption is beginning to be something of a problem for Intel on its notebook parts. The 9xx Pentium III notebook core will exceed 20 watts by the first half of next year but a technology called Intel Mobile Voltage Positioning (IMVP) technology will allow around 10 per cent of power savings. This spec will be licensed to notebook customers.

The Solano2-M parts, which will be produced at the end of this year and intro'd in Q1 next year, will include AGP, 4X ATA 100, and support four USB ports, and there will be two flavours one with integrated GFX and one without. The Intel MX and ZX chipsets for notebooks will last through to the first quarter of next year.

The first Solano-2M offering is aimed at the high end market, supporting discrete graphics, while the second with the integrated graphics, is aimed at the value end of the market.

Intel originally had a 133MHz front side bus slated for Solano2-M, but we will not see these creatures appear until this time next year. Solano-2M has already begun sampling to OEMs.

PC manufacturers who make notebooks are being advised to borrow from the desktop Solano chipset in order to design for the notebook market.

Intel expects that cell phones, mobile PCs, data access points and headsets using Bluetooth will start to appear during the second half of this year.

And the firm has started updating its customers on the schedule for its Ambler project, part of its own Bluetush plans. In June there will be point to point engineering samples at 720Kbps. In September, it will release pre-gold software and 720Kbps multipoint samples, with final release software ready for October, and multiple language support by the end of the year.

Acer, Compal, Compaq, Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway, HP, NEC, IBM, Inventec, Quanta, Sony and Toshiba will all produce Bluetooth PCs and/or mobiles. And Canon, Grundig, HP, Hitachi, Imation, Palm, Ricoh, Seiko and others will produce Bluetooth peripheral parts. In the consumer space, there will be offerings from Fuji Photo, Philips, Sony, Tatung, TDK, Toshiba, Palm, and a host of others. There is a long list of support from the industrial market, including British Airways, Fedex, Volvo, BMW and Saab, while telcos include BT, Ericsson, Nokia, Taiwan Telecom, TDK and others. ®

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