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Intel unveils next generation of laptop processors

New platform enhances battery life, performance and HD playback

Intel today unveiled a range of new processor technology for laptops, designed to enhance the performance, graphics and battery life and deliver high definition videos on the go.

Formerly code-named Montevina, Intel Centrino 2 technology and Centrino 2 with vPro technology is also designed to offer a faster draft of 802.11n Wi-Fi, with WiMAX connectivity coming later this year in the form of its WiMAX/Wi-Fi module, part of the Intel WiMAX/WiFi Link 5050 Series. Other business-class functions will also be available.

The chipmaker also showed off the world's best performing dual-core mobile processor, the Intel Core 2 Extreme - which runs at 3.06Ghz, according to industry benchmark SPECint*_rate_base2006.

The launch of Centrino 2 was initially delayed by three weeks, owing to a problem with the FCC certification for the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard used in the platform, and problems with integrated graphics functions.

"When we first introduced Intel Centrino back in 2003, there were very few Wi-Fi hotspots, YouTube videos and social media didn't really exist, ‘thin and light' referred to personal weight goals and desktop PCs outsold notebooks by a very wide margin," said Mooly Eden, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the company's Mobile Platforms Group.

"Today, notebooks outsell desktops in the US, and we're paving the way to HD entertainment, rich online gaming, faster broadband wireless speeds and an easier and more secure way for businesses to manage, update and repair their notebook fleets," he added.

Centrino 2 processors feature Intel Dynamic Acceleration and Deep Power Down to boost performance, while switching off components such as core clocks and cache memory to save energy when the machine is idle. In addition, the inclusion of Intel Turbo Memory enhances the system's software loading and boot times.

Most impressive, perhaps, is the Blu-ray playback; Intel Centrino 2 technology allows laptops to play a full-length high-definition video on a single battery charge for the very first time. Online gaming, music downloading and posting videos are also quicker than ever before.

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