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Notebook makers to tap MMX

Notebook vendors will be among those in the queue to announce systems based on the Pentium Processor with MMX Technology when Intel opens the floodgates on the chip this Wednesday, January 8.

Intel plans a 2.45-volt version of the chip running at 150MHz and 166MHz to be available in volume from January. Several vendors plan to chime the chip's release with portable PCs, according to sources.

The plans of number one notebook maker Toshiba look particularly interesting. The Japanese giant will offer new Tecra notebooks based on both speeds of MMX CPU with 13.3-inch 1,024 x 768 TFT screens, 2Gb-plus hard drives and ten-speed CD-ROM drives. 13.3-inch screens have a viewing area similar to 15-inch CRT monitors, according to LCD makers.

However, some makers will be more cautious with regard to availability of the multimedia-optimised chips. Dell UK notebook business manager Julian Phillips, for example, would only say the direct seller expects volume availability of MMX notebooks in the first half of 1997.