In January 1997 the first mobile Pentiums with MMX technology appeared, clocked at 150MHz and 166MHz. Initially these were built on Intel’s enhanced 0.35-micron CMOS process technology with the processor’s input and output pins operating at 3.3 volts for compatibility with other components while its inner core operated at 2.8 volts. The lower core voltage enabled systems to operate within efficient thermal ranges – the maximum power dissipation being 17 watts. Faster MMX CPUs were released at intervals thereafter, finally topping out at 266MHz at the start of 1998. The autumn of the previous year had seen a couple of important milestones in the development of notebook computing.
In September 1997 two high-performance mobile Pentium MMX processors that consumed up to 50% less power than previous generation mobile processors were introduced. The new 200MHz and 233MHz Tillamook CPUs were the first products manufactured using Intel’s advanced 0.25-micron process technology. The combined effect of this and the new CPU’s significantly reduced power consumption, for the first time, took notebook processors up to the same level as desktop chips.
A few weeks later Intel announced a 120MHz mobile Pentium MMX for mini-notebook PCs – an important emerging category of mobile PCs that offered small size, light weight and fully compatible, fully functional notebook computing. Manufactured using Intel’s 0.35-micron process technology, the new 120MHz processor operated at an internal voltage of 2.2 volts and consumed 4.2 watts of power. The new CPU’s low power consumption coupled with MMX technology provided mini-notebook PC users with the performance and functionality to effectively run business and communication applications on the road.