Intel launches the Centrino 2 globally

July 15th, 2008 - 7:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) The world’s largest semiconductor and computer microprocessor manufacturer Intel Tuesday launched worldwide its latest processors for notebook computers on its Centrino platform. The Centrino 2, code-named Montevina during its development stage, is the fifth generation of Intel’s mobile computing processor.

Centrino was first launched in 2003 and refers to a particular combination of processor, chipset and wireless card for laptop computers.

For a notebook to qualify as Centrino, the manufacturer must club all these parts from Intel. If any of the parts - wireless card, chipset or processor - is manufactured by some other company then the computer ceases to be referred to as Centrino.

It is because of this that Centrino has been criticised in the past as being a mere marketing ploy, as it is actually not a new processor but a combination of existing processors and chipsets.

In its worldwide release, the company showcased the five Core 2 Duo processors that will be incorporated under the Centrino umbrella. The company plans to unveil eight more processors for the Centrino 2 platform.

“We will be launching eight new processors for Centrino 2 in the next 90 days which may possibly include a quad core processor for mobile computing - a first ever,” said Ravichandran R., director of sales for South Asia.

Ravichandran demonstrated the high definition functionality and processing speeds of the new platform, stressing on the long battery life the laptop can offer when running on Centrino 2.

“The laptop processor wattage is reduced by 30 percent in Centrino 2 to 25 watts and the new deep power down technology turns off cache memory when the laptop is idle, hence saving battery,” he said.

The company also introduced its vPro technology on the Centrino 2 platform. vPro, which was till recently only available for desktops, offers remote wireless diagnosis of problems, manageability and security for notebooks.

The Centrino 2 laptops will also include Intel’s WiFi link 5000 series of network cards encompassing the 802.11n technology, the latest variant of Wifi standards with the capability to transfer data wirelessly in the range of 450 mega bytes per second (Mbps)

Ravichandran highlighted the role of the Intel India Development Center (IIDC), situated in Banglore, in the product development for the Centrino 2.

“The team at IIDC executed key design and validation activities on the WiFi chipsets. They also worked on important elements of the chipset software for Windows Vista among other things,” he said.

IIDC was established in India’s Silicon Valley in 1999 with a five-member team. The team now has over 2,500 engineers on board.

The Centrino 2 was initially slated to be released June 3 but was postponed until Tuesday. Ravichandaran attributed validation and quality check backlog for the delay.

“We wanted to provide a flawless and feature-rich experience to users. It’s better to delay the launch than recall our product later on because of defects,” he said.

Ravichandran was referring to the product recall initiated by AMD - Intel’s main competitor - in 2006 for its Opetron processors.

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