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Intel launches Bearlake chipset, announces plans for sub-$200 PC

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 0 comment

The new chipset series arrives in a total of six models, four with integrated graphics and two for higher-end mainstream and enthusiast platforms designed to be coupled with discrete graphics cards.

All new chipsets share a common foundation, which includes a 1333 MHz front side bus, support for DDR2 (800 MHz) and DDR3 (only in consumer chipsets for now ; 800-1066 MHz in mainstream models, 1333 MHz on the high-end) as well as NAND-flash-based Turbo Memory, and the new ICH9 southbridge. ICH9 continues the legacy removal that began with ICH8, includes 12 USB ports and a reduced power consumption to less than 3.5 watt.

In the entry-level segment, Intel is offering the P35 chipset for low-cost PCs. Positioned in the mainstream, the G33 and G35 versions offer integrated graphics with the firm’s proprietary Clear Video technology as well as support for DirectX 10. The G35 version is capable of playing back HDCP-protected content, including HD DVD and Blu-ray movies. Business platforms get the Q33 chipset, while vPro systems will include the Q35 model. Both have integrated graphics, but Intel does not support DDR3 memory in these "stable platform" chipsets yet and limits compatible memory to DDR2-800. The Q33 comes with Intel’s basic active management technology (AMT), while the Q35 will get AMT Pro, virtualization features as well as support for Intel’s TPM technology "LaGrande", now called Trusted Execution Technology (TXT).

Intel also unveiled the upcoming X38 version (formerly code-named Bearlake-X) of Bearlake, which will support quad-core CPUs, PCI Express 2.0, DDR3-1333 memory as well as up to two graphics cards (2x16).

Intel said that the G33 and P35 chipsets have been shipping since April, while the Intel Q33 and Q35 Express Chipsets are shipping ahead of schedule. The G35 and X38 are expected to ship within 90 days, the company said. All six new chipsets support the upcoming 45 nm Penryn processor generation.

Meanwhile, we are still waiting for the updated E6x50 series of Core 2 Duo processors, which industry sources mentioned will be introduced "soon". There will be three new processors, including the E6650 (2.33 GHz), E6750 (2.66 GHz) and E6850 (3 GHz).

During a presentation at Computex today, Intel chief marketing officer Sean Maloney also said that Intel and Asustek are working together to offer a family of education focused, low-cost mobile PCs, with one model below $200. Additionally Maloney disclosed plans for an Intel Core 2 Extreme mobile processor product to be released by Intel in the third quarter of this year. The plan follows the company’s Extreme Edition brand introduced for desktop PCs in 2003 and extends it to laptops.

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