To begin what Intel hopes will be a "new era in mobile computing", the company is launching Monday a new range of processors for notebook PCs led by a 1GHz version of its mobile Pentium III chip.
In addition to the 1GHz processor, the chip maker will also launch a 900MHz Pentium III for notebooks, and a mobile Celeron at 750MHz, Intel said in a statement.
Intel's fastest processors for notebooks to date are an 850MHz Pentium III and a 700MHz Celeron.
The two Pentium III chips both use Intel's SpeedStep technology, which allows the processor to slow down when the unit is operating on battery power, saving energy. Both models drop to 700MHz when running on battery power. Intel believes that the new chips address 90 per cent of the mobile market, from full-size notebooks to mini-notebooks.
A host of notebook computer makers is planning to produce machines using the new chips. Among them are Acer, Compaq, Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway, HP, IBM, NEC, Sony and Toshiba, according to Intel.
HP will be among the first to make use of the new chips, using them in two of three new notebooks that it plans to release Monday.
The HP Pavilion N6395 will feature the 1GHz processor, a 30 GB hard drive and a 15-inch display, and will be available in retail shops from Monday. The HP Omnibook 6000 will be available in models featuring all three of the new processors. The systems also feature 128MB of RAM, expandable to 512MB, and a hard drive of up to 30GB, with the possibility of adding a 20GB second hard drive.
HP also announced Monday that it plans to add wireless LAN (local area network) capabilities to both its Omnibook 500 and Omnibook 6000 product lines in the third quarter of this year.
Hitting the 1GHz level in notebooks doesn't mean Intel is planning to slow down. The chip maker will launch its 0.13-micron mobile chip, code-named "Tualatin," in the second half of this year and expects to have Pentium 4 processors in notebooks in the second half of next year, the company said. The new chips announced today are produced using 0.18-micron technology, and jumping to 0.13-micron production will mean more powerful and faster chips can be produced.