Intel brings PC makers up to SpeedStep

Battery-saving mobile Pentium III technology to be branded SpeedStep, Intel tells laptop makers.

Intel has settled on a brand name for its battery-saving Geyserville technology, telling PC makers this week that the upcoming mobile Pentium III feature will now be called SpeedStep. "That will be the name for Geyserville when we announce it next year," said Intel spokesman Manny Vara.

The SpeedStep technology, a feature in certain forthcoming mobile Pentium III processors, will lower power consumption while a notebook is running on battery power. A software applet will automatically switch the notebook into a mode that lowers the processor's clock speed and voltage when the applet detects that battery power is being used.

For example, Intel has demonstrated the technology lowering a mobile Pentium III chip from 500MHz to 400MHz. Running at 400MHz the processor consumes less power, allowing for a longer battery life.

The first mobile Pentium III chips, running at speeds of up to 500MHz, are expected to be announced 25 October. SpeedStep, however, will not be available until the introduction of faster mobile Pentium III chips next year. SpeedStep Technology will first be available with a 600MHz mobile Pentium III, which is due in the first quarter of 2000. Mobile Pentium III chips will support it going forward from that point.

Vara said Intel was telling PC makers about SpeedStep now so they would have enough time to include the new brand name in upcoming laptops. Intel is expected to ship a 650MHz mobile Pentium III chip in the same quarter with a 700MHz chip following in the second quarter. A 750MHz mobile Pentium III is expected in the second half of 2000.

The SpeedStep Technology was originally slated for introduction this month, but was pushed back by Intel, along with the 600MHz mobile Pentium III.

The delay resulted from design issues, which have since been resolved.