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Intel talks up low power chips to battle Transmeta pressure

But nothing to see for more than a year

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Intel has allowed the first glimpses of its mobile processor roadmap, taking the company through to 2002.

The outline brought promises of 1GHz-plus processors for notebooks (full size) by the end of next year, and low power processors designed to run at over 600MHz requiring less than 1V to operate.

Intel says it is speeding ahead with the production of the low power chips, reportedly in response to pressure from Transmeta, whose low power offering, Crusoe is now available in Japanese Sony Vaios.

Transmeta's top dog David Ditzel said that he saw Intel's movement into the area as validation of his own company's approach to the market.

He says that Intel's low power chip will only differ from Transmeta's by about a quarter of a watt. The Crusoe processor consumes between 0.5 watts and 0.75 watts while the forthcoming Intel chip will consume 0.5 watts when it is running at 300MHz, as it will when powered by a battery.

Intel's spokespeople did acknowledge that Transmeta had done a lot to raise awareness of battery life as an issue for chip designers. But given the manana nature of Chipzilla's riposte, their own company's awareness can only have been raised quite recently. ®

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