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Senior Editor

Intel’s Centrino

Mar 26, 20032 mins
MobileNetwork SecuritySmall and Medium Business

* Can the technology live up to the hype

Thinner, lighter, faster – all promises Intel is making about new products that use its recently announced Centrino mobile technology. Time will tell if the technology is all its been hyped to be.

Basically, Centrino is an overarching name for a range of wireless Intel products from chipsets to network cards. Centrino is based around the Pentium M processor, formerly known by its codename Banias.

Initial Centrino products will support 802.11b wireless LAN systems, which carry data at up to 11M bit/sec in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. Intel will introduce dual-mode products also supporting the 802.11a standard, which allows for data transmission at up to 54M bit/sec in the 5 GHz band, later in the year.

The Centrino processor is manufactured using Intel’s 0.13-micron process technology and consists of 77 million transistors. It includes a 400 MHz bus, a 1M-byte low-power L2 cache – which turns off parts of the high-speed memory when it’s not needed – and technology to reduce overall platform power consumption, Intel says.

Intel has some lofty goals for the technology: it says Centrino will account for 30% of all mobile processors by year-end, would likely account for 50% of mobile sales for high-end laptops. At the Centrino debut a couple of weeks ago, a variety of vendors including Acer, Fujitsu, IBM, NEC and Toshiba, showed off Centrino-based PCs.

You’ll be hearing more about Centrino in the coming months.