Intel launches latest chipsets

@ 2004/06/18
By Chris Kraeuter, CBS.MarketWatch.com
Last Update: 1:00 PM ET June 17, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Intel launched its much-anticipated Grantsdale and Alderwood chipsets Thursday in a significant upgrade to the multichip components that help direct traffic inside a computer.

The new chipsets are currently shipping in high volumes for use in corporate and retail computer systems to be released Monday, June 21. Intel (INTC: news, chart, profile) said several improvements in the chipsets will benefit users.

"About three or four years ago, we started looking at developing features beyond raw performance. This is the culmination of that planning," said Brian Fravel, director of desktop marketing with Intel.

Chipsets are groups of microprocessors used to facilitate communications within a computer or electronic device. Intel, with total sales last quarter of $8.1 billion, gets less than 10 percent of its sales from chipsets.

The components are important, however, to the overall performance of a computer, as well as to its user's experience.

Intel's newest chipsets now offer high-definition video and audio, advanced file protection, improved graphics capabilities and a faster memory known as DDR2, along with PCI Express, a new, high-bandwidth bus architecture.

Fravel said these chipsets will benefit consumers by making home electronics products -- such as gaming, media playback, digital photo sharing and audio playback -- faster and more efficient. He added businesses will benefit from dual-independent display technology, better Internet phone capabilities and improved storage functionality.

The Grantsdale and Alderwood chipsets will now be known as the 925X Express, 915G Express and 915P Express. Alderwood represents a higher-end chipset than Grantsdale and will most likely be used in corporate workstations and by computer gamers.

The chipsets replace the 865 and 875P chipsets, formerly known as Springdale and Canterwood. Intel's next chipset iterations won't be released for another year.

The chipsets work in conjunction with Intel's Pentium 4 chips, the latest versions of which were also announced Thursday. The newest P4 processors run as fast as 3.6 GHz

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