Confirming widely disseminated and reported rumors last week, Intel has launched two new Pentium III processors designed for laptops that feature the SpeedStep technology that drops power consumption and speed when the system is unplugged. The 850-MHz processor, priced at $722 in quantities of 1,000, drops from 1.65 volts to 1.35 volts at 700-MHz in battery mode. The 800-MHz, priced at $508 in quantities of 1,000, drops to 650-MHz on batteries. A 700-MHz Celeron costing $181 in 1,000-piece quantities was also introduced.
Intel dominates the profitable high-end portable chip market, a sector growing faster than the desktop market, and name-brand computer manufacturers, including Compaq Computer, Dell Computer, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Toshiba are expected to buy the new processors. The shortages that have hurt Intel in other chip sectors are not expected to occur, in large part because no other chipmaker is pushing the company to come to market with product before it is fully prepared.