Motherboards that use Intel's 3-series 'Bearlake' chipsets are everywhere at Computex. This suggests that Intel 'Bearlake' chipsets will soon find their way to shop shelves around the world.

Based on the large number of 3-series motherboard designs developed, Intel expects the Bearlake chipsets to catch on quickly and lay the foundation for future processor advances. "They're all going to be able to support quad core from entry-level motherboards on up," said Intel's Sean Maloney.

Intel took advantage of Computex - the Taiwanese hardware show, which started today - to announce the first Bearlake chipsets: the P35 and G33. These Intel Bearlake chipsets are now available.

More Intel Bearlake chipsets will come later this year, including the G35 and X38, which Intel plans to start shipping 90 days from now.

Intel is billing the 3-series as the prelude to its planned launch of the Penryn family of 45nm processors later this year. The Bearlake chipsets, which also support the company's existing chips, are needed because Intel has changed the voltage used with Penryn's front-side bus, which connects the chipset to main memory, said Steve Peterson, director of chipset and graphics marketing at Intel.

Intel's 3-series chipsets, which all support quad-core processors, are labelled to reflect their respective capabilities. The models labeled with the prefix G include an integrated graphics core, while the P models do not. The X model is the top-of-the-line model and includes the ability to decode Blu-ray and HD-DVD movies.

At the low end of the lineup, the G31 is designed specifically for emerging markets. This chipset is basically the same as the G33, but Intel has removed the ability to play high-definition movies, allowing it to reduce the chipset's price.


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