Intel PII guns for notebook, entry-level PCs

Intel is vowing not to leave any holes in its Pentium II strategy, making a 1998 resolution to whitewash rivals in the mainstream desktop, server, mobile and entry-level fields.
Written by Martin Veitch, Contributor

Already the dominant supplier of x86 chips to the world, Intel's plan is to rub that fact into the noses of AMD, Cyrix and IDT-Centaur.

"Our plan is to leave no holes," said Chris Hogg, Intel's market development manager for northern Europe.

For desktop PCs, that ruthless policy will mean a 400MHz PII in the first half of this year and a 450MHz successor by the end of 1998.

In notebooks, Hogg said products based on the Deschutes core, which made its first appearance in the 333MHz PII introduced today, will ship in the first of 1998. By the end of 1998, Hogg expects 233MHz, 266MHz and 300MHz mobile PIIs.

However, packing PII power into the A4 format may not be "an OverDrive-style slam dunk", Hogg said with reference to Intel's CPU upgrade product.

Based on the Deschutes core, the mobile module and thinner cartridge format chips will be wound down in voltage and BIOSes and thermal characteristics of notebook board designs may have to be changed, he admitted, but claimed that for makers shipping 'Tillamook' (mobile-optimised Pentium MMX) notebooks, the change will be "much faster than from ground-up but still 'Don't try this at home'".

In the July-September quarter, Hogg said Intel will ship the cache-less Pentium II variant aimed at very low-cost PCs.

"We were right on target to ship more than 25 per cent of our processors as PII in the fourth quarter of 1997. By the end of June, it will be over 50 per cent and by the end of the year PII will be top to bottom."

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