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Intel starts shipping new Pentium III

The chipmaker begins shipping "Tualatin"--the desktop version of its new Pentium III processor--made using a process that cuts power consumption while boosting speed.

Intel has begun shipping the Pentium III processor desktop version, a chip that was produced using an advanced manufacturing process that cuts power consumption while boosting speed.

The new Pentium IIIs, code-named Tualatin, are the first Intel chips to use the 0.13-micron manufacturing process, which replaces the 0.18-micron process currently used for most PC processors. Miniaturizing the chip geometry allows the processor to run at faster speeds while consuming less power and emitting less heat, making such chips ideal for mobile computing.

The chips use copper interconnects, a feature that could allow increased miniaturization for future versions.

Intel said the chips have been shipping in full production quantities since May and could be announced by manufacturers starting Tuesday. The chips run at 1.13GHz and are aimed at servers but will use the Pentium III brand rather than Intel's server brand, Xeon.

Pricing was not immediately available.

Intel is not putting much marketing muscle behind the desktop Tualatins, saving the fanfare for the mobile version, which will appear next month, according to sources. Intel will launch the mobile Tualatin in five speeds: 866MHz, 933MHz, 1GHz, 1.06GHz and 1.13GHz.

The new mobile Pentium IIIs will use a 133MHz front-side bus and are expected to include a larger 512KB Level 2 cache and a new version of SpeedStep, Intel's battery-saving technology. The chips will compete with AMD's mobile Athlon 4 and ultra-low-power Crusoe chips from Transmeta.

Staff writer Matthew Broersma reported from London.