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Intel announces Centrino 2

Intel announces Centrino 2

The Centrino 2 platform is based around the Intel Mobile 4 Series Express chipset.

Intel has officially launched its next-generation Centrino platform, and it's looking pretty darn spiffy.

The imaginatively monikered Centrino 2, previously running under the internal codename Montevina, is available in two flavours – the plain old Centrino 2 and the higher-end Centrino 2 with vPro™ Technology. No, really – that's what it's called. vPro is the name Intel has given to its own version of the Phoenix HyperCore embedded security system; a hardware-based virtual operating system that allows corporations remote access to perform security checks and maintenance on their laptops, even if the main operating system is hosed beyond repair.

As well as the Montevina platform itself, Intel also announced the availability of a bunch of new mobile-oriented processors based around the Core 2 technology. TrustedReviews has a full list of current and future processor ranges, but the basic upshot is that you can expect a range of 'performance' units from 2.26GHz to 2.53GHz running on a 1,066MHz front-side bus with an impressive thermal design profile of 25W, and a second range of chips especially designed for the small form factor market ranging from 2.4GHz with 6MB cache down to a weeny little 1.2GHz unit with 3MB cache but a frankly astonishing 5.5W TDP – which opens the door for impressive battery life in future ultra-portables.

The processor joy doesn't end there, though: Intel has also used the launch of Centrino 2 to mention that it has beaten rival AMD to the punch and is the first chip maker to offer a range of quad-core processors for the mobile market. If you demand performance for your single-threaded applications, Intel's got your back there, too: a mobile version of the Core 2 Extreme 3.06GHz, allegedly the world's highest-performing dual-core mobile processor.

If you rely on Intel integrated graphics on your notebook, you'll be aware that – excellent Linux support aside – they've never been at the cutting-edge when it comes to gaming. The bad news is that the new Mobile Intel Express 45 IGP that is coming part and parcel of the Centrino 2 platform still won't set your gaming world on fire, but it does feature hardware Blu-Ray decoding and the option – at the OEM's discretion – to switch between the integrated, energy-efficient Intel graphics chip and a discrete, power-hungry gaming chip on demand.

Centrino wouldn't be Centrino without wireless connectivity, of course, and Intel has that covered too with the announcement of the Intel Wi-Fi Link 5000 series of wireless networking equipment. Running on the as-yet unratified 802.11n draft specification, the new cards offer five times the speed and twice the range of the 802.11a/b/g cards offered in the original Centrino platform. If you're one of the lucky few who live in a WiMAX enabled area, check out the 5050 series – combined WiFi and WiMAX reception in a single card.

In order to get the energy efficiency points that any good mobile platform needs, Centrino 2 is set to feature a range of new power-saving technologies including Deep Power Down – in which extra cache and core clocks are completely disabled when the laptop is idling – and the aforementioned switchable graphics alongside old favourites like the SpeedStep dynamic clocking technology.

The Centrino 2 platform is due to start appearing in notebooks soon, with confirmed models including the Fujitsu Lifebook S7220, the HP Compaq 6730b, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y730, the Sony VGN-FW198UH, and the Toshiba Qosimio X305.

Anybody here looking to get their hands on a Centrino 2-based ultra-portable, or do you have other requirements from a laptop? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

18 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
chicorasia 16th July 2008, 15:28 Quote
Quote:
a hardware-based virtual operating system that allows corporations remote access to perform security checks and maintenance on their laptops, even if the main operating system is hosed beyond repair.

Big Brother: coming soon, on a laptop near you!
Jojii 16th July 2008, 16:32 Quote
also has support for a gimped xfire
kenco_uk 16th July 2008, 17:07 Quote
btw, it's Qosmio (2nd to last para).

Sounds amazing. The proof is in the testing though, i.e. how much longer a battery will last.
Denis_iii 16th July 2008, 17:29 Quote
vpro sounds awesome, wish my clients had it
can't wait, will def get next 15.4 dell xps with centrino 2
p3n 16th July 2008, 17:29 Quote
Gogo gadget macbookpro refresh before my trip :<
Cthippo 16th July 2008, 17:42 Quote
I forsee vPro being hacked and turning into a mahoosive security headache. Prediction: FAIL
ParaHelix.org 16th July 2008, 17:48 Quote
"a hardware-based virtual operating system that allows corporations remote access to perform security checks and maintenance on their laptops, even if the main operating system is hosed beyond repair."

Even if the OS did get fried (god only knows how you manage that) cooperation's always use domain controllers which means they loose no data, it would simply be a case of sticking in a disk, or even not even that with network install capabilities of today.
Cupboard 16th July 2008, 18:22 Quote
Sounds good, especially the really low power chips and the ability to switch to a discrete GPU for the higher end computers. I presume this will require a restart though?
Quote:
Originally Posted by article
the 802.11a/b/g cards offered in the original Centrino platform
The original Centrino notebooks didn't actually have g, it was in a similar state to n is now and despite having an a/b/g capable chip Intel decided not to make it part of Centrino.
Gareth Halfacree 16th July 2008, 18:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
The original Centrino notebooks didn't actually have g, it was in a similar state to n is now and despite having an a/b/g capable chip Intel decided not to make it part of Centrino.
Ah, my fault. I read "twice the speed of older 802.11a/g technologies" in the Intel press release as "twice the speed of our older 802.11a/g technologies."
M4RTIN 16th July 2008, 19:37 Quote
1.2ghz dual core with a TDP of only 5.5w, isnt the single core atom about 3w or so? or is this actually an atom processor with centrino branding
Icy EyeG 16th July 2008, 20:23 Quote
A bit of a side note:
People have to be careful when buying a new Laptop these days:

If it has 4 Gb of RAM, make sure it comes with Vista 64-bit. The vast majority won't.... :(
Timmy_the_tortoise 16th July 2008, 23:49 Quote
What's the point?

Most people only use Laptops for internet browsing and typing and whatnot anyway.. There's no need for huge performance, especially not quad core.

I'm not gonna be using quadruple threaded, Gigahertz intensive applications on my laptop.. if I wanna do that, I'll use my PC.
knyghtryda 17th July 2008, 07:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
What's the point?

Most people only use Laptops for internet browsing and typing and whatnot anyway.. There's no need for huge performance, especially not quad core.

I'm not gonna be using quadruple threaded, Gigahertz intensive applications on my laptop.. if I wanna do that, I'll use my PC.

I can easily see a reason for a high powered laptop, but its definitely a niche product. For me, I would want a 4GB quad core to do portable video editing, such as editing on a shoot. Bring along a 2.5" 320GB external and you've got an extremely portable and powerful editing platform. 90% of the population won't need this kind of power, but damn it, its sure nice to have when you need it, and now that you can a decent fully loaded laptop for under 2k, this kinda power is no longer out of reach.
p3n 17th July 2008, 08:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
What's the point?

Most people only use Laptops for internet browsing and typing and whatnot anyway.. There's no need for huge performance, especially not quad core.

I'm not gonna be using quadruple threaded, Gigahertz intensive applications on my laptop.. if I wanna do that, I'll use my PC.

Most of the low tdp mobile Centrino 2 are dual core processors?

Desktop replacement laptops ...

Stop preaching bollocks 24/7?
kenco_uk 17th July 2008, 10:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
What's the point?

Most people only use Laptops for internet browsing and typing and whatnot anyway.. There's no need for huge performance, especially not quad core.

I'm not gonna be using quadruple threaded, Gigahertz intensive applications on my laptop.. if I wanna do that, I'll use my PC.

Maybe not for XP or Vista, but what are the specs for Windows 7, which is apparently due shortly/next year (or so)?

'Sup to you what you use a laptop for me old fruit. I think the mobile gaming market is opening up and more laptops with more powerful graphics cards are becoming ever more available, as well as cheaper. It's an unavoidable fact. Even in the UK you can buy a modest gaming laptop for around £5-600, with a powerhouse coming in around the £1,000 mark. People were quite willing to spend many times more that not too long ago for much less performance than can be had today.
Gareth Halfacree 17th July 2008, 11:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
Even in the UK you can buy a modest gaming laptop for around £5-600, with a powerhouse coming in around the £1,000 mark. People were quite willing to spend many times more that not too long ago for much less performance than can be had today.
Too true. My main laptop - if we discount the Eee - is a Dell Inspiron with 600MHz PIII (which is currently clocked to 550MHz to give me a bit extra battery life) with 256MB RAM (it was supplied with 128MB) and a 20GB drive (again, supplied with a 10GB drive which died the Travelstar death).

When I bought it, which must be eight or nine years ago now, I paid £1470-ish for it. Having said that, I still use it - so even if we count the cost of the extra RAM (£15), hard drive (£60), and battery (£20), that works out to about £180 a year. Not bad, really.
Timmy_the_tortoise 17th July 2008, 15:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
What's the point?

Most people only use Laptops for internet browsing and typing and whatnot anyway.. There's no need for huge performance, especially not quad core.

I'm not gonna be using quadruple threaded, Gigahertz intensive applications on my laptop.. if I wanna do that, I'll use my PC.

Maybe not for XP or Vista, but what are the specs for Windows 7, which is apparently due shortly/next year (or so)?

'Sup to you what you use a laptop for me old fruit. I think the mobile gaming market is opening up and more laptops with more powerful graphics cards are becoming ever more available, as well as cheaper. It's an unavoidable fact. Even in the UK you can buy a modest gaming laptop for around £5-600, with a powerhouse coming in around the £1,000 mark. People were quite willing to spend many times more that not too long ago for much less performance than can be had today.

I guess.. But the market is VERY niche.
p3n 17th July 2008, 17:24 Quote
Stop talking rubbish... dell probably sell thousands of desktop replacement laptops
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