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Mobile Pentium II set for release

Intel confirms it will introduce its first Pentium II microprocessors for notebooks April 2 at the company's California headquarters.

Intel (INTC) confirmed it will introduce its first Pentium II microprocessors for notebook computers on April 2 at the company's Santa Clara, California, headquarters.

Stephen Nachtsheim, general manager of Intel's Mobile and Handheld Products Group, will host next Thursday's event, the company said in a short statement. The proceedings begin at 9:30 a.m.

Leading manufacturers such as IBM, HP, Dell, Toshiba, and Digital are expected to immediately announce new systems based on the Intel chip, as reported by CNET's NEWS.COM.

The first version of the mobile Pentium II chip will run at 233-MHz and 266-MHz, according to sources. Part of the "Deschutes" family of Pentium II processors, these chips will be made on the advanced 0.25 manufacturing process, which allows Intel to produce smaller circuits that consume less power and generate less heat. The chips will also come with 512K of secondary "cache" memory that will work in conjunction with the processor.

Later in the year, Intel will release a 300-MHz version of the chip as well as mobile Pentium II processors that contain cache memory integrated into the same piece of silicon as the chip. Integrating the cache memory will reduce both the chip's cost and its operating heat. Current cache memory sits alongside the processor.

The new Pentium II chips will be available in two different packages. The module package, which is similar to the module packaging used in Pentium MMX notebooks, will be used in midrange price notebooks. Thinner and lighter notebooks will come with Pentium II chips housed in a smaller cartridge casing.

Back in November 1995, Intel introduced its P6 architecture, the foundation of the Pentium Pro and the newer Pentium II. Both of these top-line chips have been featured prominently in desktop PCs, workstations, and servers, but never have they made it into portable computers. To date, this class of chip wreaked havoc on battery life and generated too much heat to be used in mobile PCs.

Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network.