Future Products For Notebooks
If you should have been impressed with Intel's Pentium 4 plans of reaching the 2 GHz-barrier in Q2/2001 already, the projections in the mobile sector might find your respect as well. In the next quarter (Q1/2001) Intel is planning to release the mobile Pentium III at 900 MHz and 1 GHz , thus being the first supplier of Giga Hertz processors for notebooks in history. Both of those processors will still be running at 100 MHz FSB, as all mobile Pentium II, Celeron and Pentium III processors do for more than 18 months now.
The second quarter next year will see a major change from that, as Intel will release Pentium III processors at 866, 933 and 1000 MHz that are actually based on the 'Coppermine-T' core which you already heard of in the first part of the Intel Roadmap Update 10/2000 . It is not hard to figure out that those processors will actually take advantage of a front side bus that runs at 133 MHz, thus finally reaching the same front side bus bandwidth as it's Pentium III brothers in desktop systems. In this second quarter of 2001 we will also see the first mobile 'Tualatin'-Pentium III processors at 1.13 and 1.26 GHz clock speed, also using 133 MHz FSB. This might be the first official appearance of 'Tualatin', since it makes more sense for Intel to supply the mobile market with this 0.13 micron process CPU early, due to its lower power and heat requirements.
Basically we can see Intel pushing the mobile processor market quite hard next year, going from a 850 MHz Pentium III that is available now to 1.26 GHz in only some 6 months. Obviously those new processors and their specs require new mobile chipsets as well, which will be explained in detail further down the article.
The mobile Celeron is not in quite as much of a rush to reach high speeds as its bigger brother Pentium III is. In fact, the mobile Celeron seems to lag behind quite badly. The first quarter of 2001 will see the mobile Celeron 750, Q2/2001 will bring Celeron 800 and Q3 holds Celeron 850. By this time Celeron is far behind Pentium III and you wonder who will be interested in it anymore.
Here's a list that summarizes the mobile processor roadmap:
- Mobile Pentium III 900 MHz and 1 GHz, both at 100 MHz FSB
- Mobile Celeron 750
- Mobile Pentium III based on 'Coppermine-T' core (0.13 micron) 866, 933 MHz and 1 GHz, all at 133 MHz FSB
- Possibly Mobile Pentium III based on 'Tualatin' core (0.13 micron) 1.13 and 1.26 GHz, also at 133 MHz FSB
- Mobile Celeron 800
- Mobile Pentium III based on 'Tualatin' core (0.13 micron) 1.13 and 1.26 GHz, also at 133 MHz FSB
- Mobile Celeron 850
The evergreen 'BX' is finally disappearing very slowly from the desktop market, but it's still the state-of-the-art chipset in the mobile arena right now. This is supposed to change in the first quarter of next year, when Intel releases i815E-M , the mobile version of 'Solano' or i815. While the i815 chipset for desktops supports 133 MHz FSB and PC133 SDRAM, the i815E-M will only support 100 MHz FSB and PC100 memory, at least according to the roadmap. The advantages of i815E-M over BX are still obvious. It has a better south bridge, the ICH2, supporting ATA100 and other goodies too. The biggest catch however is of course its integrated 3D-graphics . We have no idea if the performance of this integrated 3D-engine will be even worse than what we know from i815 for desktops , but it will most certainly be a major factor to reduce the costs of a notebook , because there won't be any need for an additional graphics chip.
Preliminary Specs of i815E-M:
- ICH2-M - ATA100, etc.
- Integrated 3D-graphics
You have certainly read with interest about the transition of future mobile Pentium III processors to 133 MHz FSB and might have wondered which chipset is supposed to support this. The answer is called 'Almador-M' or 'i830-M' and from this name you can probably figure out its specs already, since it's obviously the mobile version of the upcoming i830 chipset for desktops, as already discussed in the last two new roadmap articles Intel Roadmap News 10/2000: Part One, Desktop Processors And Chipsets and HOT! Update Of Intel Roadmap News! . We have no idea if Intel will actually bless the desktop version of Almador with DDR-SDRAM support, and we can also not say if the notebook version will have it. What 'Almador-M' will certainly come with is integrated 3D-graphics that's supposedly faster than i815E-M. The mobile version of Almador is also meant to come with the new south bridge 'ICH3-M', which offers support for USB 2.0.
Preliminary Specs of 'Almador-M' or i830(E?)-M
- New specs to accommodate Pentium III with 'Tualatin'-core
- 133 MHz FSB support
- PC133 SDRAM (DDR-SDRAM??) support
- Integrated 3D-graphics
- ICH3-M, USB 2.0
Summary Mobile Products
All in all the future of Intel's notebook processors and chipsets looks rather bright. Intel is planning to launch the first mobile processor with 1 GHz at the beginning of next year already and the mobile 'Tualatin' with up to 1.26 GHz at 133 MHz FSB is supposed to follow some 6 months later.
Manufacturers of graphics chips for notebooks won't welcome Intel's latest strategy of supplying mobile chipsets with integrated 3D-graphics. Nobody expects those 3D-graphics to be any kind of useful for real game players, but for the majority of notebook users the graphics of i815E-M and 'Almador-M' will be more than good enough, as only few people are using 3D-graphics on notebooks anyway. Thus the majority of company notebooks will probably come without an extra graphics chip, while 'gamer notebooks' could be equipped with NVIDIA's upcoming mobile 3D-chips, of course for a price premium. Long live Intel's beloved 'segmentation'.