Intel outs Banias, mobilises notebook designers

It's a wireless world - soon

IDF Intel today demoed Banias, the codename for its latest class of mobile processors, together with the tweaked- for-mobiles Odem chipset, for the first time at IDF.

Shipping in the first half of next year, Banias marks the next generation of P4 processor technology for notebooks.

The first iteration of P4 technology for mobiles, the P4-M, will run at "greater than 1.5GHz "speed; other P4-M spec teasers include: incorporation of a version of the Intel 845 chipset; 400MHz FSB and 266MHz DDR support. It's built using the 0.13micron manufacturing process and it's housed in micro flip chip pin array packaging. But when will the P4-M launch - as early as next week, according to CRN.

Notebooks utilising the new chips will see a huge, but unspecified improvement in battery life, with power consumption reduced by 50 per cent, when compared with their PIII-M counterparts, Anand Chandrasekher, Intel's mobile veep, said.

In his keynote speech, Chandrasekher pointed out that notebook sales had risen five or six per cent in 2001 in spite of a very difficult market. The sweet spot in the "hyper-segmented" notebook market is for thinner and lighter units, in which performance is not compromised.

The emerging trend of wireless connectivity - characterised by Intel as "Anytime Anywhere" -
is a new inflection point for notebooks, representing a major opportunity for Intel and its customers, Chandrasekher says.

With broadband to the desktop, people change the way they use their PCs - "they integrate (them) into their lifestyles," according to Chandrasekher. The same change is seen in people with wireless notebooks, he reckons.

The challenge for the industry is to improve what Chandrasekher terms the "vectors of mobility" - lower power consumption; longer battery life; better, easier to use, more secure wireless connectivity; improved performance. ®