The modifications include a lower-profile Pentium processor that generates less heat and uses less power, said Joe Jensen, director of marketing for Intel's Embedded Microcomputer Division. These new low-power Pentiums run at 166 MHz and 266 MHz, but unlike their desktop cousins, they rise a mere 1.5 millimeters above the circuit board.
That lower profile is possible because the chip is soldered to the board using a technique called plastic ball grid array (PGBA), instead of fit into a relatively tall socket.
The new Pentium chips are expected to be used in equipment such as cash achines, corporate telephone networks, and point-of-sale devices--which used to be known as cash registers. Intel already sells Pentium chips for those kinds of devices, but there's a big demand for lower-profile chips, Jensen said.
Another new embedded processor improvement is a stripped-down version of the i960, an Intel reduced instruction set computing (RISC) chip.
The i960 has previously been used in products designed to ease the input/output (I/O) load on servers, packaged as the i960 RM and i960 RN. Now, however, Intel is selling the i960 VH, a less-expensive version designed for standalone network hardware such as switches, routers, and bridges, said Bill Rollender, product marketing manager for Intel's Connected PC Division.
The third--and newest--part of Intel's embedded processor product line is the StrongARM chip, which is targeted at compact, low-power devices running the Microsoft Windows CE operating system.
Intel is releasing StrongARM as a two-chip set, the 1100 and 1101.
Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network.