Intel slashes chip prices up to 44 percent

Chip maker's latest round of price cuts reduces Pentium III and Celeron prices while making room for new products

Intel this week slashed chip prices by up to 44 percent. Company officials say the price cuts are one of the company's regularly scheduled price moves. However, new desktop Celeron chips and mobile Pentium III and Celeron chips are expected next month.

Generally, the company makes several price cuts each year to make room for faster processors and move older chips down a pricing ladder. A chip generally sees several price cuts until it is discontinued. The new prices are usually passed on to consumers by PC makers.

Intel slashed its low-cost Celeron chips, cutting prices on the mobile version of the chip by up to 44 percent. The largest mobile price reduction came on the 550MHz mobile chip, reduced by 44 percent to $96 from $170 (£64 to £113). A new 600MHz mobile Celeron chip is expected next month.

Desktop Celeron chips, on the other hand, were reduced by 5 percent to 19 percent. The largest cuts in this category came on the 600MHz desktop Celeron chip, which fell by 19 percent to $112 from $138. Other desktop Celeron cuts were more modest, running from 5 percent on the 500MHz chip, now priced at $69, to 10 percent on the 566MHz, now priced at $93.

Intel, as reported by ZDNet News, will introduce its 633MHz and 667MHz desktop Celeron chips next month.

When it comes to the Pentium III chip, Intel reduced Pentium III desktop chips by as much as 31 percent. However, pricing on its new 933MHz and 1GHz (1,000MHz) Pentium IIIs held steady at $774 and $990, respectively. The largest price cut came on the 800MHz Pentium III, which fell 31 percent to $385 from $562.

Intel made healthy price cuts, ranging from 20 percent to 27 percent, on the remainder of its desktop Pentium III chips, which include 866MHz, 850MHz, 750MHz, 733MHz and 700Mhz clock speeds. Intel 667MHz and 650MHz chips, reduced by 23 percent and 20 percent, respectively, joined 600MHz, 550MHz, 533MHz and 500MHz Pentium IIIs on the bottom rung of the pricing ladder. All five chips are now priced at $193.

Finally, the company lowered prices on several mobile Pentium III chips. The company's 600MHz, 650MHz and 700MHz mobile Pentium IIIs were reduced 31 percent to 34 percent. The 700MHz chip, for example, was reduced by 32 percent to $380, while the 600MHz was reduced by 34 percent to $209.

Intel is expected to announce a 750MHz mobile Pentium III chip in June as well.

Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices held its chip prices steady.

Prices listed are for 1,000-unit quantities. Retail prices vary and may be higher.

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