In the spring, Intel unveiled its fastest-ever mobile microprocessors with the release of the 1GHz mobile Intel Pentium III processor. The new processor powers more than 20 new laptops from Dell, Gateway, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard (HP), with other PC makers set to release systems soon. In addition to the 1GHz mobile Pentium III processor, Intel rounded out its mobile processor line with a 900MHz Pentium III processor and a 750MHz Celeron processor.

"We really think we're reaching a new era in mobile computing with 1GHz," said Intel Vice President Frank Spindler. "We expect a lot of OEMs to standardize on 1GHz as a base speed." The 1GHz Pentium III processor incorporates Intel's SpeedStep technology, which lowers the processor's speed when it runs on battery power; the 1GHz Pentium III processor will run at 700MHz on a battery.

Intel notes that the mobile PC market has outgrown that of desktop PCs and that the trend will probably continue. Therefore, Intel will likely focus on mobile designs, given the recent slowdown in PC sales. Just a few years ago, the fastest mobile computer was far less powerful than the typical desktop. Today, that situation no longer holds true, and desktop PCs could soon take on many of the size and weight characteristics of portable machines. Intel hopes its faster processors will jump-start PC sales, which have fallen dramatically in the past year.