Intel launches new Centrino platform to improve mobile computing

Intel has unveiled its new Centrino platform, a set of products designed to bring new usability to wireless mobile computing

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By  Mark Sutton Published  March 13, 2003

Intel has launched its new technology platform tailored for wireless mobile technology. The Centrino platform comprises a new set of mobile processors, chipsets and 802.11 wireless network equipment, which is intended to bring much greater usability to mobile products.

“Unwiring the PC will fundamentally change the way people use computers, allowing them to communicate, be productive or be entertained wherever and whenever they want,” said Craig Barrett, Intel chief executive officer. “Our focus on integrating all the elements of mobility allows Intel Centrino mobile technology to deliver an outstanding wireless computing experience and marks the first time we’ve put a combination of technologies under a single brand.”

In order to meet the aims of Centrino, the processor architecture has been completely redesigned, and based on the 0.13 micron technology. The new processors have a range of features to increase battery life and are available in 1.3-1.6GHz versions, with two additional low-voltage versions at 900MHz and 1.1Ghz.

The platform features two new additions to the 855 chipset family, the 855PM for discrete graphics and the 855GM for enhanced graphics. Both chipsets have power-saving features such as enhanced SpeedStep, Deeper Sleep Alert State and automatic shut off of chipset clock when it is inactive.

Centrino is completed by the Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 Network Connection, an 802.11b wireless technology, which provides connection speeds up to 11Mbps, although the vendor says it will have 802.11a by September that will allow 54Mbps connection speeds.

OEMs and channel partners that deploy the complete Centrino platform in their mobile products will be able to use the new Centrino brand on their products. Intel is also setting up a $150million fund to aid companies that are developing wireless solutions.

The company also plans to help drive the creation of wireless ‘hotspots’, zones covered with wireless connectivity, to give mobile users more places to connect. IDC predicts that there will be 118,000 hotspots worldwide by 2005.

“We are very proud to be able to bring this latest wireless technology to the Arab World at the same time as the rest of the world,” said Gilbert Lacroix, general manager of Intel MENA. “Many retailers are already witnessing the majority of their PC sales are in laptop format. I am sure this trend will continue and actually accelerate with our new combination of computing and wireless technologies. We are sure it will change a lot of peoples' lives.”

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