Chip giant Intel will next week unveil its new mobile Pentium 4-based processor, closing the speed gap between notebooks and desktop computers.
The chip will be launched on 4 March, but Intel declined to give more details in public.
Yet sources close to the company said the mobile chip will initially be available at speeds of 1.6GHz and 1.7GHz, breaking the 2GHz barrier by the end of the year.
The Pentium 4 is currently only available for desktop computers, although this has not stopped a few manufacturers from putting the processors in their laptop offering.
It is expected that the prices for the new mobile chip will be the same as the current price for Pentium III 1.2GHz chips, at $508 when bought in lots of 1,000.
This will be followed by a price cut in the Pentium III chip to coincide with the launch. The old chips will then be phased out completely.
The source said several notebook manufacturers will bring out systems featuring the Pentium 4 processor, including Toshiba.
The chip will include an enhanced version of Intel's SpeedStep technology that slows down the chip when the notebook is working in battery mode, thus lengthening battery life on the move.
It will also use less power when put into sleep mode.
The chipset that goes with the processor is similar to the 845 chipset used with Intel's other Pentium 4 offerings.
The 845MP includes a 400MHz system bus and Intel's NetBurst architecture. It will also support both DDR Ram and SDRam memory.
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