Intel is touting its first Pentium 4-based microprocessor for mobile computers, which the company says will be ready for sale in new systems by early 2002. The mobile Pentium 4 will debut at 1.5 GHz, with a 2 GHz model expected by the end of next year. And the release of the mobile Pentium 4 should signal the end of Intel's aging Pentium III line, which will live on past year end in mobile form only. Intel says the mobile Pentium III will be phased out by the end of 2002 as well.
Joining the mobile Pentium 4 will be new chipsets, which will feature a 400 MHz system bus, a power-saving sleep mode, and support for Double Data Rate (DDR) RAM. The chip will also feature a new version of SpeedStep, a technology that slows the system down when it's running on batteries in order to save energy.
Longer term, the company is working on a follow-up to the first generation mobile Pentium 4, code-named "Banius," which will debut in 2003. This chip is being designed specifically for the mobile market and isn't simply a retrofitting of a desktop chip.
Meanwhile, Intel saw its profits fall dramatically in its third quarter, with the company predicting sluggish sales for the fourth quarter as well. Intel reported that its net income fell 77 percent year-over-year to $655 million, while its sales fell 25 percent to $6.55 billion. The news was somewhat expected however, as Intel had warned financial analysts about the quarter earlier. Also, Intel actually gained market share on rival AMD during the quarter, indicating that things are even worse at AMD. Intel current owns over 77 percent of the microprocessor market.