Intel Corp., the world’s largest manufacturer of microprocessors, said it plans to donate 10,000 of its Pentium chips to New Mexico’s classrooms over the next few years‹if the state legislature will buy the computer shells to put them in.

“We can work together to really provide tools for our children’s futures, and we can do that at a substantially lower cost than if the legislature tried to pay for this alone,” said Kathleen Taylor, Intel plant manager in Rio Rancho.

Following the announcement by Intel, House Speaker Raymond Sanchez, D-Albuquerque, introduced a measure in the House to appropriate $6 million over three years to purchase and rebuild used computers to go with the donated chips.

“I’ve been trying to get computers in the classrooms for the last six or eight years, but we never had the money to do that,” Sanchez said. “This is a great opportunity to finally get it done.”

Sanchez said he would also try to help schools locate private companies willing to donate old computers.

New Mexico Technet, a nonprofit organization in Albuquerque, has already volunteered the technical support to put the chips in the computers.

Bill Garcia, director of external affairs at Intel ‹whose Rio Rancho plant is one of the largest chip manufacturing plants in the world‹said the donated chips would help the state build a $2,000 computer at a cost of about $600.