Intel used Germany's giant CeBit trade show yesterday to take the wraps off its newest mobile processors.
Intel launched its Centrino package, which is based around the Pentium M processor (code name Banias). It incorporates a different architecture to that used in Intel's other mobile processors, such as the Pentium 4-M, offering better performance and longer battery life. It also includes an Intel 855 chipset, which supports a 400MHz front-side bus, and the Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 wireless LAN chip.
The company introduced four versions of the Pentium M, running at 1.6GHz, 1.5GHz, 1.4GHz and 1.3GHz. A 1.1GHz version is also available.
Intel claims its Pentium M processor offers higher performance than the Pentium 4-M. Intel said the 1.6GHz Pentium M offers a 13 per cent to 15 per cent improvement in performance over the 2.4GHz Pentium 4-M. The 1.6GHz Pentium M also offers 76 per cent longer battery life than the 2.4GHz Pentium 4-M, according to Intel.
Intel's end users have become accustomed to the company's emphasis on the connection between higher clock speeds and greater performance, a fact it has used to compete with Apple.
"I was actually confused about that as well," said Kitty Fok, director of personal systems research at IDC Asia-Pacific. "But just looking at the CPU speed doesn't reflect the actual performance anymore."
Intel is pushing the Pentium M and Pentium 4-M processors to different markets. The Pentium M and Centrino are targeted at mobile users who want wireless LAN access and longer battery life, said Kelly Wu, country manager of Intel Taiwan. The Pentium 4-M, on the other hand, is intended for what Intel calls the portability market - users who carry their notebooks from one office to another, she said.
"Our focus is not only on megahertz," said Wu. "Of course megahertz is important but we are also considering the usage model."