Intel has finished work on a new Pentium 4 mobile processor that greatly reduces notebook computer battery usage and should be found in new notebooks starting this fall.
The 855GME chipset works through a notebooks graphics card to automatically lower the device's display quality when in power-saving mode, said Karen Regis, Intel's mobile programs and promotions manager. Intel's previous battery-life extension efforts focused on lowering the processor's power consumption when not needed and quickly getting the notebook into sleep mode when not used for a set period of time.
By lowering the display quality the chipset knocks down the amount of power being used, about 1.5 watts on the average, according to a test run by Intel. About 30 percent of all battery power is used to run the display.
The next area Intel will attack is adding more built-in networking capability to its processors, Regis said. In 2004 processors will have the ability to run Bluetooth, WiFi and GPRS so a user can seamlessly travel from place to place and not lose his connection to the network or Internet.
The processor news was revealed at an event Intel held in New York late last month. In addition, the company hyped some upcoming products that will be powered by its XScale processors.
These included a portable media player, a computer media adapter, a networked DVD player and several products based on what is called the Personal Mobile Gateway platform.
The portable media player is now being developed by companies like Creative Labs and Samsung, said Intel product manager Michael Lane. The product is based around a 20GB hard drive and can download TV programming, music, video and photos via USB 2.0 from a PC.
Lane said the ability to download and store programming directly from a TV or PVR will be added at a later time. Expected pricing is between $400 and $600 and these should ship next year.
A network-enabled DVD player will ship in the very near future, said Intel's David Vogel, media development manager, from a top tier PC vendors, which he declined to name. The player can be networked into a computer and A/V network through an Ethernet or wireless connection. Pricing was not available.
Linksys showed a media adapter that will transfer music and photos from a PC to a TV or stereo system. An Intel spokesman said the Linksys product uses an 802.11b network to transfer the data. Pricing and shipping dates were not available.