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As reported, Intel Corporation on Monday unveils a revamped flavour of the Intel Pentium M microprocessor with more cache memory and higher core-clocks. The chips are expected to further popularize of the Intel Centrino mobile platform unveiled last year. The new Pentium M central processing units faced numerous setbacks on their way to the market, but the issues seem to be finally resolved.

Advancing the P6 Architecture Further

Intel Pentium M processor – the key-element of Intel Centrino mobile platform – is based on a micro-architecture specially tweaked for mobile applications that delivers high performance amid low power consumption to enable longer battery life in today’s mobile systems. General micro-architecture of the Pentium M more resembles that of the Pentium III rather than the inner design of the Pentium 4.

The initial implementation of the Pentium M – the chip code-named Banias – has some important advantages over the previous generation P6 architecture, such as support for SSE and SSE2, Advanced Branch Prediction, Micro-Op Fusion, Power Optimised Processor Bus, Dedicated Stack Manager technology as well as Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology for optimized power consumption

The second silicon implementation of the Pentium M processor is code-named Dothan unveiled today that will enhance the lineup of Banias’ innovations with improved pre-fetch mechanisms as well as revamped system of access to CPU’s registers. Additionally, Dothan will integrate 2MB L2 cache, two times larger on-die memory compared to Banias.

The new Intel Pentium M processors contain 140 million of transistors and devour about 21W of power, sources told X-bit labs. Such power consumption is lower compared to the previous high-end Pentium M by about 3.5W, though, the information contradicts data from some notebook makers, who believed that Dothan will be more energy hungry.

Thanks to the 90nm process technology, Dothan’s die size will be 83.6 square millimeters - only slightly more compared to Banias chip’s die size. Banias is produced using more mature 130nm fabrication technology.

With all the new performance tweaks, the Pentium M processors based on Dothan core will offer a substantial performance boost over predecessors. Furthermore, the new core is a clear signal that the P6 architecture unveiled in late 1995 has still a lot of headroom for improving the power.

Mobile Technology Gets More Affordable

Today Intel releases 3 version of Dothan processors at clock-speeds of 2.00GHz, 1.80GHz and 1.70GHz. The products will be branded as Pentium M 755, Pentium M 745 and Pentium M 735 respectively.

The first three Pentium M “Dothan” SKUs – 755, 745 and 735 – are available in immediately for the price of $637, $423 and $294 per unit in business quantities respectively. In June Intel Corp. is projected to broaden the mobile 90nm offerings with Pentium M 725 and 715 SKUs.

Along with the introduction of the new chips, Intel also lower the prices on existing Pentium M processors at 1.70GHz, 1.60GHz and 1.50GHz to $294, $241 and $209 from the previous price-bins of $423, $294 and $241 respectively.

Centrino Gains Additional Popularity

Leading notebook manufacturers, such as IBM, HP, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, ASUS and some others are expected to integrate the new processor into their upcoming mobile personal computers.

According to a survey released by International Data Corporation, Intel Centrino notebooks were expected to account for roughly 42% among global notebook shipments in 2003. This is definitely a rewarding achievement given that the notebook makers started to sell the Centrino PCs only in March 2003.

With more powerful chips onboard and growing demand for cost-effective WLAN adapters that are a part of Centrino platform, Intel’s mobile technology is likely to take over even larger share of mobile computers this year.

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