Chipmaker is set to announce new processors and chipsets that will support technologies such as wireless networking and VoIP.
The chips, to be released Thursday, will be the second dual-core Pentium line Intel has unveiled in as many months. Intel's Pentium 4 Extreme Edition chips were released in April. Now, Intel will offer new 800-series desktop Pentiums in three speeds: 3.2GHz, 3GHz and 2.8GHz.
The initiative is part of the chipmaker's Professional Business Platform, or PBP, and the so-called "platform-ization" of its products--or its effort to market chips based on capabilities other than simply clock speed, and to sell supporting technologies along with them.
The corresponding new chipsets--dubbed 955X and 945G--support various technologies that Intel says customers have been asking for, including wireless networking, voice over Internet Protocol, high-definition displays and enhanced security.
The chipset technology is designed initially to benefit Intel's lower-speed Pentium D products as well as its upcoming core processors that will support Intel's hyperthreading technology.
At an event in San Francisco later Thursday for reporters and analysts, Intel plans to tout the benefits its technology can bring to small and medium-size businesses, as well as to consumers building the so-called digital living room. Intel declined to comment on the specific content of the event.
Computer makers Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo will also be on hand to tout Intel's advancements. Sources familiar with the announcement said that all four are primed to ship products based on the new chipsets before the end of the month.
Computer makers will have two choices of chipset when courting home and business users.
The 955X chipset is designed for high-performance systems such as workstations and gaming machines. The technology supports up to 8GB of DDR2 (double data-rate 2) memory and support for PCI Express x16 graphics.
The other choice is the 945G, which targets multimedia platforms that can handle enhanced video and audio. The 945G chipset marks the debut of Intel's Active Management Technology, or IAMT, which uses portions of the chip as a separate service processor in case of a power outage or a system rebuild. Businesses can also use the technology to let system administrators manage a desktop hooked up to the network even if the power is off.
Intel has been tinkering with combining its processors and chipsets ever since the company started de-emphasizing chip speed.
Today, most business desktops come with an Intel processor and chipset. Many of these units came with the option for an Intel networking chip. The new platform includes a Gigabit Ethernet networking chip as a standard part of the package.