updated 10:40 pm EDT, Mon July 14, 2008
Intel: major laptop news
Intel tonight formally introduced its Centrino 2 notebook platform Monday as well as a new 45nm, 3.06GHz Core 2 Extreme mobile processor, calling it the "highest performing" chip of its kind in the world. The company has additionally rounded out its announcement saying it will release eight new processors over the next 90 days, including the first quad-core mobile processors, and second-generation support for "ultra-thin" notebooks such as the MacBook Air.
The long-awaited Centrino 2 platform includes 802.11n Wi-Fi support, improved battery life through more energy-efficient processors, and integrated graphics capable of HD video playback. Intel says users can now enjoy a typical full-length HD Blu-Ray video on a single battery charge. Faster processors now use 1,066MHz system buses and have support for more power-efficient DDR3 memory.
For businesses, a variant of Centrino 2 with vPro Technology gives them remote management and security as companies are said to continue migrating from desktops to laptops. The platform offers improved wireless manageability during sleep states, support for WS-MAN and DASH 1.0 next-generation management standards, and allows employees to initiate communications to their firm's IT support from outside the company's firewall. Intel says the new platform will be used in 250 new consumer and business products now in the pipeline.
Besides the release of the 3.06GHz mobile flagship, Intel is known to be releasing eight Core 2 Duo processors within the coming three months as well as a total of 14 "diverse" new processors over an unspecified period of time. In addition to the first quad-core laptop processor -- understood in reports to clock at 2.53GHz -- Intel says later this year it plans to ship its first-ever combined WiMAX/Wi-Fi module (nicknamed Echo Peak) as an option for future systems.
Certain processors and mainboard platforms are available today, and include normal notebook processors ranging between 2.26GHz and 2.8GHz as well as their platforms for systems with dedicated graphics chipsets; mainboards with 802.11n Wi-Fi and integrated graphics are expected in early August. Low-voltage processors for ultraportables are due in September.