Intel today took the wrappers off its first MMX Pentium chip to be optimised for mobile PCs.
Best known by its Tillamook code-name, the device is the chip giant's first product to be produced on its 0.25-micron fabrication facility, and marks "the first time we've put a feature like this into a mobile before a desktop PC", said David Hazell, Intel's European business development manager. "Normally there's a three to six months disparity but this time there was an opportunity to go with the mobile first."
Hazell said the chip will be available in 200MHz and 233MHz speeds and consumes about 40 per cent less power than the previous lowest effort. "If you take a battery life of two hours, this will add 20 minutes," he said. The design will also enable notebook designers to add features such as high-performance hard drives and CD-ROM drives.
He added that the design will also provide appropriate power consumption and thermal headroom for future designs, a clear reference to 'Deschutes', the mobile Pentium II processor expected to ship in the first half of next year.
Hazell said he expects several notebook makers to announce products based on the chip today and production volumes to ramp very quickly. Most vendors will use the 10mm-high MMO 'mobile module' packaging but standard TCP packaging will also be available. Ultra-thin notebooks and older notebook designs will use TCP.
Intel charges $764 for the MMO 233MHz chip and $604 for the 200MHz chip. In TCP packaging, prices are $691 and $530 respectively.
Hazell said he expects non-MMX mobile CPUs to " become history" by the end of 1997.
As part of its Mobile Power Initiative, Intel will host a Power Symposium where mobile PC designers can discuss how to improve battery life September 17-18 in San Francisco.