Guide to Intel’s Mobile Celeron CPU

Co-incident with the launch of Dixon, Intel also introduced its first Mobile Celeron CPUs, at clock speeds of 266MHz and 300MHz. Technically, these CPUs were distinguished from the Dixon range only by the fact that they had 128KB of on-die Level 2 cache, rather than 256KB. However, they were priced extremely competitively, confirming Intel’s determination to gain market share at the budget end of the market.

By the autumn of 1999 the Mobile Celeron range had been extended to provide versions at clock speeds up to 466MHz, all based on Intel’s advanced P6 microarchitecture and having an integrated 128KB L2 cache for increased performance, and the 466MHz and 433MHz versions available in all of Ball Grid Array (BGA), Micro Pin Grid Array (PGA) packaging – consisting of a processor and a tiny socket – and Mobile Module (MMO) packaging.

In 2001 the 0.13-micron Pentium III Tualatin chip became key to Intel’s mobile CPU strategy. By that time notebooks were available in a variety of sizes, ranging from full-featured models with 15in screens to ultraportables as thin as 20mm and weighing as little as between 2 and 3 pounds. Different manufacturers refer to the smaller form factors variously as slimline, thin and light, mini-notebooks and sub-notebooks.

The situation had become equally as confusing with respect to versions of mobile chips. For example, Intel manufactures a mobile Pentium III and a corresponding Celeron chip for each notebook category. Whilst the latter cost less, they were based on the same technology as their siblings differing only in cache sizes, core voltages and processor packaging.

By the spring of 2002 Mobile Celeron CPUs were available for core voltages between 1.15V and 1.7V in a variety of speed grades up to 1.2GHz for standard voltage versions and 677MHz and 670MHz for low voltage and ultra low voltage versions respectively.