Industry Watch

Intel unveils new processors

Intel Corp. this week will announce its new Pentium II and Celeron 400 MHz mobile processors.

Besides raising processor performance for the last time before Intel releases its Pentium III mobile processors this fall, the PII 400 is the first processor to use the 0.18-micron process technology, said Intel product marketing manager Sam Wilkie. This technology improves system performance and increases battery life by using less power than the previous 0.25-micron chip. And by consuming less power, this technology also reduces the amount of heat generated by the processor - a major concern in mobile systems.

Among other features, the processor includes Intel's QuickStart and Deep Sleep technologies to further extend battery life and Intel's Wired for Management feature for network management and connectivity.

While some agencies may be interested in the 400 MHz Celeron processor, which later this year also will be moving to the 0.18-micron technology, Intel is continuing to position the Celeron as the solution for the consumer and value markets, Wilkie said.

"The PII processors are focused more for government users," he said.

In conjunction with the Intel announcement, manufacturers such as Dell Computer Corp. and Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. released additions to their notebook lines with the new processors. Most took advantage of the lower power consumption of the new Pentium II processor to offer users even more features, such as additional memory and larger hard drives.

"A lot of them are looking to buy at the high end of the technology curve and ride that down over time," said Jay Parker, Dell's Latitude product manager.

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HUD selects Sprint

Sprint Government Systems Division last week announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development had selected Sprint to provide voice and data services via the General Services Administration's FTS 2001 contract. Sprint currently provides these services to HUD through GSA's FTS 2000 program.

A Sprint spokesman said HUD plans to upgrade its telecommunications infrastructure to incorporate more advanced data services, and Sprint expects to use the FTS 2001 contract to offer frame-relay and Asynchronous Transfer Mode services to the department in the future. Sprint currently provides mostly voice service to HUD, he said.

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EPA to buy telecom support

The Environmental Protection Agency last week kicked off a procurement for nationwide voice telecommunications support, with a request for comments. The National Telecommunications Support contract, an 8(a) set-aside, is estimated by Federal Sources Inc. to be worth $50 million over five years.

The buy, for telephone, videoconferencing and related services, is the last of five acquisitions that the agency has conducted in the past three years to obtain a broad range of information technology support.

DynCorp is the incumbent vendor. Of the other four contracts, Science Applications International Corp. won the deal for systems development; SRA International Inc. holds a contract for consulting; and Lockheed Martin Information Support Services holds two contracts for network and computer support. The EPA hopes to release a request for proposals in early August and award a contract by December.

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