Intel Outlines Mobile Road Map - InformationWeek

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Intel Outlines Mobile Road Map

The company unveiled plans for processors for notebooks, ultra-mobile PCs, and smaller computers that Intel calls "mobile Internet devices."

Intel on Tuesday outlined its plans into next year for its mobile platform, which promises to boost performance and energy efficiency in notebooks and other Internet-connected devices.

The company unveiled the road map at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, listing its plans for processor technology earmarked for notebooks of all sizes; ultra-mobile PCs, which often include a touch screen; and even smaller computers that Intel calls "mobile Internet devices."

While some products are due out this year, the biggest performance and energy improvements are slated for next year, when Intel starts cranking out processors using its 45-nanometer manufacturing process. The new process enables the company to increase the transistor density of a chip, compared with the older 65-nm technology.

Rival Advanced Micro Devices is behind Intel in leveraging the manufacturing technology. Intel plans to have two 45-nm manufacturing facilities in production by the end of this year, and two more by the second half of 2008.

In May, Intel is scheduled to release its Santa Rosa processor technology for notebooks that's comprised of a Core 2 Duo processor, the Mobile Intel 965 Express chipset, and a "Turbo Memory" option that decreases the amount of time it takes for a hibernating PC to resume operation.

In the first half of next year, Intel will refresh Santa Rosa with a 45-nm dual-core mobile processor, code-named Penryn, David Perlmutter, senior VP and general manager of Intel's Mobility Group, said during a keynote address. Later in the year, Intel plans to deliver with Penryn more advanced processor technology, code-named Montevina, which will sport higher performance and more energy efficiency, the company said.

As an option in Montevina, Intel plans to offer its first integrated Wi-Fi/WiMax technology. WiMax provides multimegabit speed, greater throughput, and wider range when compared with other wireless broadband technologies. WiMax hasn't been rolled out in many places yet, but the technology promises to someday enable people to more quickly download high-definition video, and other large data files wirelessly.

In the mobile Internet device and ultra-mobile PC categories, Intel plans to introduce this summer the Ultra Mobile platform, formerly code-named McCaslin. Systems leveraging the technology will be available over the summer from Aigo, Asus, Fujitsu, Haier, HTC, and Samsung. The platform includes an Intel A100 or A110 processor, the 945GU Express Chipset, and the Intel ICH7U I/O Controller Hub.

The release of the next-generation platform for smaller computers, code-named Menlow, was moved forward about six months to the first half of next year. Menlow would be based on a 45-nm, low-power micro-architecture-based processor code-named Silverthorne, and a next-generation chipset code-named Poulsbo. Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior VP and general manager of the Ultra Mobility Group, demonstrated a Menlow prototype at the developer forum.

Intel Senior Fellow Mark Bohr told attendees that the company has working versions of Silverthorne. Intel today has more than 15 different 45-nm product designs in various stages of developments, including working versions of Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, and Xeon family processors.

The day before, Intel released its plans for processors and related technology for desktops, servers, and consumer electronics. A major focus in the new designs for next year is what Intel calls a "system-on-chip," which integrates several key system components into a single Intel architecture-based processor.

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