Following a few small hiccups and a minor delay, Intel today launched its fifth-generation Centrino platform, previously code-named Montevina and now known as Centrino 2.
The platform, which combines an Intel CPU, chipset and wireless card, promises to deliver the next-generation of laptops with improved performance, better battery life and faster wireless.
As you'd expect, Centrino 2 consists of some of the fastest mobile processors available, and Intel has a choice of five new Core 2 Duo processors and a Core 2 Extreme available at launch, topping out at 3.06GHz:
|Processor||Model Number||Core Speed||FSB||Cache||TDP|
|Core 2 Extreme||X9100||3.06GHz||1,066MHz||6MiB||44W|
|Core 2 Duo||T9600||2.80GHz||1,066MHz||6MiB||35W|
|Core 2 Duo||T9400||2.53GHz||1,066MHz||6MiB||35W|
|Core 2 Duo||P9500||2.53GHz||1,066MHz||6MiB||25W|
|Core 2 Duo||P8600||2.40GHz||1,066MHz||3MiB||25W|
|Core 2 Duo||P8400||2.26GHz||1,066MHz||3MiB||25W|
The processors, built on Intel's 45nm process, lower the maximum TDP to 25W at speeds of up to 2.53GHz. That's roughly a 30 per cent decrease on the previous generation, says Intel.
Power saving and battery life is key, and Intel has HUGI technology up its sleeve. That's "Hurry Up and Get Idle", which Intel tells us is most important. The term is used to illustrate how Intel's speedy processors can hurry through tasks, getting them completed quickly, and then drop down into idle or sleep modes. Thus, extending battery life.
In the coming 90 days, Intel will add an additional eight processors to the Centrino 2 line-up, including a first-ever mobile quad-core part. That'll be the already-available QX9300, we presume.
Though Intel's desktop monster, Nehalem, is just around the corner. The world's largest semiconductor manufacturer makes it clear that laptop sales continue to outpace desktop PCs. With the low-end market covered with Atom processors, Intel hopes to make the mid and high-end range its own with Centrino 2.
On the graphics front, the Mobile Intel 45 chipset features integrated GMA X4500 graphics and it'll work in tandem with Intel Switchable Graphics technology. For those who really want to replace the desktop, you'll be able to switch between integrated or discrete graphics options based on power policy or user settings.
Intel states that its integrated graphics are fully capable of playing back Blu-ray material, and a single battery charge will enable a Centrino 2 laptop to playback an entire Blu-ray movie.
Wireless, which Intel has continually used as a major selling point for its Centrino brand, comes in the form of Wi-Fi and WiMAX. Intel's solutions, branded as the Wi-Fi Link 5000 series, will come in three forms. Wi-Fi Link 5100 and 5300, rated at 300Mbps and 450Mbps, respectively, offer wireless-N connectivity. Wi-Fi Link 5350 will be added in the second half of 2008 and will combine Wi-Fi and WiMAX onto a single card.
It's a head-to-head race between Puma and Centrino 2 for laptop supremacy, and whilst AMD Puma-based laptops are still a little light in quantity, Intel expects system builders to deliver close to 250 Centrino 2-based systems to market in the very near future.
Official press release: NEW INTEL-BASED LAPTOPS ADVANCE ALL FACETS OF NOTEBOOK PCs