Intel preps mobile processors for higher clock speeds


Santa Clara (CA) – Intel is transitioning seven small-package Core 2 Duo CPUs as well as one Celeron M processor to new steppings, which will include “speed enhancements” for the Montevina notebook platform and lay the foundation for a higher clock speed, the company said.

The Core 2 Duo SL9300 (1.60 GHz), SL9400 (1.86 GHz), SP9300 (2.26 GHz) and SP9400 (2.40 GHz) will be moved from a C-0 stepping to E-0, while the Celeron M ULV 723 (1.2 GHz), Core 2 Solo SU3300 (1.20 GHz, single-core), Core 2 Duo SU9300 (1.20 GHz), and SU9400 (1.40 GHz) will switch from M-0 to R-0.

The effect of both stepping changes is the same – there are speed path improvements, which will enable higher frequency models, according to Intel. There are no electrical, mechanical or thermal changes.With the exception of the Celeron M model, the conversion affects only small package processors: SP models that focus on performance, SL version that have a greater focus on energy efficiency as well as SU versions that solely focus on energy efficiency. Intel defines SP processors as small-package CPUs with a thermal envelope of 20-29 watts, SL processors with 12-19 watts and SU processors with less than 12 watts.

We can’t really remember a time when Intel’s processor descriptions were as confusing as they are today, so here is a quick reminder what those cryptic prefixes mean:

Intel told its customers that samples of the new processors will be available by December 8 of this year. Volume shipments are set to begin on or after March 2 of next year. The company said that there will not be any form, fit and function changes between the stepping conversions, however, system