Intel Unveils Centrino 2 for Laptops

Intel is publicizing its new Centrino 2 processors, which are currently being integrated into laptop computers by about 250 equipment manufacturers. A number of Intel processor products based on Centrino 2 will be publicly unveiled "within 90 days," according an announcement issued today by Intel.

Centrino 2 technology (formerly code-named "Montevina) uses various components to speed up performance, including "a faster 1066 MHz front side bus and up to 6 MB of L2 cache," according to Intel's announcement. The company also claims that it has reduced the processor wattage by "about 30 percent" to improve power-saving capabilities in notebooks.

Intel will sell some of its Centrino 2 chips using Vpro technology, which the company introduced last year. Intel's Vpro adds remote management and security capabilities for IT departments that track errant company laptops. Intel claims that IT administrators can maintain their fleet of laptops securely outside the company's firewall using the technology. Moreover, the Vpro technology allows laptops to be maintained remotely -- even when users have turned off the power.

Intel also delivered some news about mobile capabilities in its products, including the introduction of the new Intel Core 2 Extreme processor. The company claims this product breaks speed records for mobile dual-core processors.

Intel is currently shipping its new "Mobile Intel 45 Express Chipset" and "Wi-Fi Link 5000 Series" products to manufacturers. Laptops using the technologies are expected to appear on the market toward the end of July or in August. The Intel Wi-Fi Link 5000 Series uses technology based on IEEE 801.11n, a Wi-Fi standard that promises data rates of about four times faster than the current 54 Mbps.

Finally on the wireless front, Intel expects to ship its first module that combines WiMAX and Wi-Fi technologies side-by-side. The product, called the Intel WiMAX/Wi-Fi Link 5050 Series, will be an option in future laptops using Intel's Centrino 2 technology.

WiMAX technology was designed for outdoor use by telecom carriers to deploy fixed and mobile multimedia services, such as video and television feeds, at longer ranges than Wi-Fi and under non-line-of-sight conditions. WiMAX is expected to deliver end user speeds of about one to five megabits per second, according to the WiMAX Forum's FAQ.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.