Intel to double graphics performance

The chip maker is planning a new integrated graphics core for later this year, replacing ageing technology

Intel is having another go at the market for integrated graphics cores with a new version of its 830 chipset for the Pentium III-M, to be released in the fourth quarter of this year.

The core is to be Intel's first since the 810 and 815 chipsets, which used technology from the older 752 graphics chip, according to Frank Spindler, Intel's vice president and general manager of the mobile platform group. Spindler said that the new chip should deliver up to twice the performance of the 752, which was originally aimed at desktop computers before being integrated into the 810 and 815.

Intel has not been able to hack it in graphics chips so far. The chip giant initially entered the market for discrete graphics chips with the i740, but soon had to pull the product as competitors released faster alternatives.

The chip maker has plenty of research and manufacturing resources -- it even bought a notebook graphics chipmaker, Chips and Technologies, in 1998 for $430m (about £300m) -- but analysts say it is simply too comfortable to hack it in the tumultuous world of graphics processors. Unlike PC processors, graphics chips are relatively cheap and are easier to upgrade, leading to fiercer competition.

Intel's new core will be built into different versions of the Pentium III-M chipset, such as the 830M at the more expensive end of the value-PC space and the 830MG for cheaper products. Spindler said that an integrated graphics version of the 845 chipset for the Pentium 4 could also appear.

Integrated graphics chipsets are primarily aimed at the low-cost segment of the market since they are designed to replace a higher-performing, more pricey separate graphics processor.

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