by Anton Shilov
03/30/2006 | 10:39 PM
In order to offer the “Wintel” world computers that could be as small and as powerful as the latest Mac mini systems from Apple, Intel Corp. started to promote its mobile processors in the desktop market segment. Such a move may mean better adoption rates for small form-factor (SFF) systems, which are not something new, but which still have not got significant market share.
“By taking an Intel mobile processor and combining it with a microATX, picoBTX, or proprietary form factor board,
Currently the company promotes Intel Core Duo, Intel Core Solo and Intel Pentium M processors for SFF computers. Additionally, the company advertises certified barebones and small form-factor mainboards that support the mobile processors from the company.
It is not the first time when Intel offers its mobile processors to markets that historically used other chips. For example, last year Intel certified the Pentium M for servers, whereas this year released an Intel Xeon processors based on the Core Duo design. Given that the company’s current Intel Pentium 4 and Intel Pentium D consume a lot of power and dissipate a lot of heat (up to 130W), it is impossible to use them in truly small, quiet and efficient computers.
While mobile central processing units (CPUs) solve the problem of excessive power consumption and temperatures with their thermal envelopes of about 30W – 35W, they typically cost more than their desktop counterparts, which makes computers running them more expensive. Furthermore, current mobile processors from the company do not support 64-bit technology and some other capabilities the desktop have.
Later this year Intel is expected to release its processors code-named Conroe, the chips that will have much lower power consumption (65W) compared to current chips, yet, they are expected to sport all the advantages the desktop processors have, such as 64-bit technology.