Intel launches upgrade to Centrino

Higher performance and longer battery life are the aims of Intel's Centrino Pro platform, which consists of an upgraded processor, chipset and radio combination

Intel will today launch a new mobile platform aimed at increasing notebook performance and reducing notebook power consumption.

This launch of the Centrino Pro platform will take place in London's Square Mile — which, as well as being home to the greatest number of businesses in the UK, contains one of the densest concentrations of wireless networks. The launch is set to be attended by Arun Shenoy — Intel's business director for the UK — and dozens of IT professionals from across the country.

Demonstrating their Centrino Pro-based machines at the event will be three PC vendors: HP, Lenovo and Asus.

Centrino Pro consists of a processor, chipset and radio combination code-named Santa Rosa. The new platform builds on the first incarnation of Centrino, which was released in 2003. All three elements have been updated.

Centrino Pro will contain Intel's 65nm Merom-based Core 2 Duo processor, offering a faster frontside bus (FSB) at 800MHz. The platform can also slow down the processor during light loads, saving on power usage.

A flash-based hard disk cache called Turbo Memory will also decrease power consumption — and increase performance — by devoting up to 1GB of flash memory to holding system files and other data that the operating system requires at start-up, restoring from sleep and during application switches. Intel claims that Turbo Memory will halve application load and wake-from-sleep times and add up to 20 minutes to battery life.

The chip manufacturer has also enhanced the chipset to improve a notebook's display, while saving on power. The company estimates that two to three watts can be saved, which translates into five to 10 percent of extra battery life. Another new feature of the chipset is support for Active Management Technology, an Intel technology which allows IT managers to manage and diagnose remote PCs across a wireless connection.

Intel has also updated the Centrino radio to support its own version of 802.11n — the upcoming wireless LAN standard — which has yet to be ratified. 802.11n will allow data transmission, at least in theory, of 300Mbps.




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