Intel announces 1.5, 2GHz Mobile Pentium 4

But there's more it didn't say

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Intel yesterday confirmed it will release Mobile Pentium 4 processors next year, at speeds in excess of 1.5GHz during the first half of 2002 and at 2GHz in the latter part of the year.

Speaking at Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, Bob Jackson, principal engineer at Intel's Mobile Platforms Group, told the conference audience the new chips would bring the P4 architecture's 400MHz frontside bus and second-generation Streaming SIMD Extentsions plus the latest iteration of the company's SpeedStep technology to the mobile market.

He also announced the 845MP chipset - the mobile equivalent of the DDR SDRAM-based 845D desktop P4 chipset the company will ship early next year. The 845MP will support PC1600 DDR200 memory, which is its key improvement on its predecessor, the 830.

The new version of SpeedStep - dubbed 'Enhanced Intel SpeedStep' - will essentially provide higher clock frequences than the current version can at a given level of power consumption. In addition, the P4-M will incorporate a second, "deeper" sleep alert state to minimise its voltage draw while still being ready to switch into full-on processing mode. In "deeper sleep", the P4-M effectively drops below the core's minimum operating voltage during idle time.

What Jackson didn't say is that the P4-M will ship not only at above 1.5GHz - specifically 1.6GHz and 1.7GHz - but will be made available at that frequency and at 1.4GHz, according to the company's latest roadmap. That document narrows the release schedule to Q1 2002, and mentions the 845MZ chipset, something else Jackson apparently didn't mention.

The P4-M will be taken to 1.8GHz in Q2 2002 and 2GHz in Q4.

Jackson did say that Banias, Intel's next-generation mobile processor, currently being designed from the ground up, will appear during the first half of 2003, but that's pretty much what the company has said already. Ditto what he said about switching off blocks of logic to conserve power and bundling up the processor's micro ops - all features highlighted at the Intel Developer Forum in August.

Jackson did mention that Intel is working on Banias chipsets, which is the first official word on the matter we can recall. Past hints have implied two chipsets will be offered, codenamed Odum and Monterra. ®

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