Improvements in the latest notebook platform include better performance and longer battery life via new Intel Core 2 45-nanometer processors and Mobile Intel 45 Express chipsets, as well as faster draft 802.11n wireless. In addition, Centrino 2 with vPro-branded notebooks incorporate the new business-class manageability capabilities.
Initially, Intel unveiled five Centrino 2 Core 2 Duo CPUs, as well as the Intel Core 2 Extreme at 3.06GHz, which is claimed to be “the world’s highest-performing dual-core mobile processor”. The new Core 2 chips come with a faster 1066MHz front side bus and up to 6MB of L2 cache.
Intel said it also plans to release another eight CPUs within 90 days. The new processors will include first-ever mobile quad-core units and new chips for ultraportable laptops.
Centrino 2 also utilizes support for both DDR2 and DDR3 memory, and the new graphics chip – the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500 HD with greater rendering performance and support for high-definition video playback.
Power saving features in Intel “Montevina” include Deep Power Down Technology and switchable graphics. Deep Power Down turns off processing components such as core clocks and cache memory when the laptop is idle, while the optional switchable graphics solution provides both integrated and discrete GPUs on a single laptop. It enables users to easily switch between the two options, choosing either better 3-D performance or greater power savings.
The chip maker also updated its Intel Turbo Memory module, for faster system boot and responsiveness. It now features 2GB of memory instead of 1GB.
Another new component in the Centrino 2 platform is the Intel Wi-Fi Link 5000 802.11 draft-n wireless module that deliver data rates of “up to 450 Mbps” and “twice the range” of older 802.11a/g technology. Later this year, Intel plans to add WiMAX support to the platform.
For business-class notebooks, Intel Centrino 2 with vPro technology offers enhanced manageability and security options. It enables IT managers to remotely diagnose, update, and repair “Montevina” vPro systems over a wireless network.
Intel said that close to 250 Centrino 2-based notebook PCs from various manufacturers are on the way.