Intel has slashed the price of mobile versions of its Pentium II and Pentium MMX processors by as much as 37 per cent.
The news is certain to bring down the cost of notebooks and will also hasten the introduction of faster mobile parts from the chip giant.
Intel, which has committed itself to phasing out the 16-bit MMX processor in favour of the Pentium Pro (P6) based Pentium II, slashed its its 200MHz part to $96, its 233MHz part to $135, and its 266MHz part to $240. Those cuts represent an average of 33 per cent, and mean that the 200MHz MMX mobile part is virtually discontinued.
The chips will be replaced by Pentium II/mobile parts, with the 233MHz now costing $260 and the 266MHz chip $450. Faced with a choice of buying an MMX 266MHz chip for $240 or a PII 233MHz part for $260, most PC vendors will choose the faster 32-bit processor.
Intel has publicly said that it has now ceased making wafers for the MMX family of microprocessors. The news means that system assemblers may now find it difficult to source Intel MMX parts. But Intel's competitors, including Cyrix and AMD, will now attempt to mop up this after-market.
Chip giant Intel has been forced to accelerate price changes of its microprocessors for both desktops and mobiles throughout 1998, partly as a response to competition from AMD and Cyrix.
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