Notebook News: Intel Dothan, HP ZD7000 Extreme, Dell says ‘No’ to AMD, Record Sales for 2004?

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Intel Promises May Release for new Pentium M processor ‘Dothan’ and Fall release of ‘Sonoma’ (Centrino 2)

Anand Chandrasekher, the general manager for Intel’s Mobile Platforms Group, today promised that the new Pentium M processor dubbed ‘Dothan’ will be available in May and that he was indeed disappointed that Intel has been continually forcing back the original 2003 release date of this processor.  Chandrasekher also pledged to quickly ramp up the company’s new 90nm chip to replace all of its current 130nm chips being produced.

Dothan will at first ship with a 400MHz frontside bus and in fall it will be upgraded to a 533MHz frontside bus.  This fall release of a 533MHz frontside bus chip is being dubbed as ‘Sonoma’, the next generation of Centrino.  Sonoma will also offer better audio and graphics performance than the current Centrino class chips.  So to set the record straight:

1)  In May the new ‘Dothan’ Pentium M chip will be available from Intel and will use the 90nm fabrication

2) Sometime during the fall the new ‘Sonoma’ Pentium M chip will be available from Intel and will be based on the Dothan architecture but will include a faster frontside bus and better audio and graphics performance.

HP adds Ability to configure Pavilion ZD7000 with Intel Extreme Edition Chip

HP fires back at Dell.  Dell released their high-end Inspiron XPS notebook last week that comes bundled with an Intel Extreme Edition chip.  HP this week added the ability to configure its desktop replacement HP Pavilion ZD7000 notebook with the Intel Extreme Edition 3.2GHz chip (with Hyper Threading).  The price will start at $2749 for the ZD7000 when it includes this processor.

Dell says ‘No’ to AMD, but ‘Never say Never’

In a bit of double speak from Kevin Rollins of Dell Computer Corp., he said today in a talk with University of Chicago students that Dell had no plans at all to include an Advanced Micro Devices processor in any of its notebooks.  However, he then went onto say that Dell tests every new processor from AMD or Intel in its labs and they were impressed with the AMD Opteron 64-bit processors (server processors) and Athlon 64-bit processors used in notebooks and that Dell would ‘never say never’ to using a certain type of processor in its computers.  So whether this is an endorsement or spurning of AMD by Dell, you make your decision.  I would bet it will be a long time or possibly never that we see an AMD chip in any Dell notebook.

Record Notebook Sales expected for 2004

Sources in Taiwan are reporting that they expect notebook sales for 2004 to well outdo those from 2003 and blow-away the best sales year for notebooks ever.  One statistic cited by notebook manufacturers is that many businesses are due to refresh their notebook computer hardware in the second-half of 2004 — just when the economy should be in full rev, so retailers such as Dell that sold 6 million notebooks last year can expect to sell 9 – 10 million notebooks this year.  That’s about a 40% sales increase and a whole lot of computers.  Wow.

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