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Intel unveils '3-Series' chipsets for 'Duo' and 'Quad' processors

Speaking at the Computex computer trade show in Taipei this week, Intel Corporation Executive Vice President Sean Maloney unveiled a new 3-Series Chipset family along with several other plans surrounding the company's popular Intel Core 2 Duo and Quad processors for home and business users.

The world's largest chipmaker said the new products will enable a number of innovative features for today's PCs, such as greater performance, clearer definition video, and storage technologies that help better protect valuable data. The new chipsets are also designed to be used with the company's upcoming Intel 45 nanometer "Penryn family" processors expected later this year.

Maloney informed attendees that there are already more than 100 motherboard designs underway that will utilize the new technology, which he expects will become the fastest growing chipset family in Intel's history.

"There is a tremendous amount of excitement and anticipation for our forthcoming 45nm Hi-K processors based on the Intel Core microarchitecture," he said. "The Intel 3 Series chipsets lay the foundation for an exciting, media-rich experience for today's systems and those that arrive later this year."

Maloney also disclosed plans for an Intel Core 2 Extreme mobile processor product to be released 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 notebooks, which continue to be the fastest-growing computing market segment. The upcoming chip is targeted to be the chipmaker's highest-performing mobile dual-core processor that still includes energy-saving power features for notebook-friendly designs.

The Intel 3 Series Chipsets

The Intel 3 Series Chipsets, formerly codenamed "Bearlake," will enable "exceptional PC performance" while helping to improve energy efficiency, system design and quietness, Intel claims. Computers with these chipsets should deliver CE-like video and sound quality, while also offering new data security and manageability features for business users. As such, they'll form the foundation for Intel's next-generation Intel Viiv processor technology and Intel vPro processor technology, codenamed Salt Creek and Weybridge, respectively.

The Intel 3 Series Chipsets support DDR2 up to 800MHz, or DDR3 memory with data transfer speeds up to 1333 MHz, enabling speedy access to files and a more responsive PC. The chipsets also support PCI Express 2.0, which doubles the available bandwidth for graphics cards and are engineered to support Intel Turbo Memory which enables faster application loading and boot times.

The new chipsets will also offer versions with integrated graphics called the Intel G33 and G35 Express Chipsets. These products will include Intel Clear Video Technology which can enhance video playback and supports the High Definition Media Interface (HDMI). System manufacturers can also support HD DVD and Blu-ray* disc playback with these chipsets at a lower system cost than most discrete graphics cards. Additionally, the G35 integrates hardware support for MS DX10 for smoother, more realistic 3D applications.

The Intel G33 and P35 Express Chipsets have been shipping since April, while the Intel Q33 and Q35 Express Chipsets are shipping now ahead of their Q3'07 introduction. The Intel G35 Express Chipset and the advanced Intel X38 enthusiast chipset with dual graphics support will ship within 90 days, Intel said.