Intel takes notebook chips past 3GHz

Notebooks passed the 3GHz mark on Wednesday.

The increase in speed comes courtesy of a new 3.06GHz mobile Pentium 4 chip, which was introduced as part of a volley of new processors fired off by Intel.

As previously reported, the latest mobile Pentium 4, part of a new family of four chips, marks a change in focus for the notebook version of the P4. The 3.06GHz chip and its siblings, which run at 2.4GHz, 2.66GHz and 2.8GHz, were created for larger, weightier, more performance-oriented notebooks. The chips offer higher clock speeds and lower prices than their predecessors in the Pentium 4-M line.

Intel was able to change the mission of the Pentium 4-M after the company brought out its low-power Pentium M, the keystone in its Centrino family of chips for wireless notebooks. Because the Pentium M was designed to use less power, it found a home in many manufacturers' lighter-weight notebooks. This freed the Pentium 4-M and gave Intel the room to crank up the clock speed on the chip, creating the new mobile Pentium 4. The Pentium 4-M had been limited to 2.5GHz, in part to curb power consumption and to help broaden its appeal for smaller notebooks--an area that the Pentium M now covers.

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