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‘Centrino 2’ to launch next Autumn

Time's arrow narrows for Sonoma

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IDF Intel's second-generation Centrino platform, 'Sonoma', will be launched next Autumn, the chip maker's mobile products chief, Anand Chandrasekher, said today.

Sonoma incorporates 'Dothan', the 90nm Pentium M, along with 'Alviso', the next-generation Centrino chipset. The platform was unveiled at last autumn's IDF, and given a broad release timeframe, sometime in the second half of 2004.

Chandrasekher revistited Sonoma during IDF this week. He confirmed speculation that Alviso will provide a 533MHz effective bit rate frontside bus. There's dual-channel DDR 2 SDRAM support in the mix, too - up to 2GB of it - along with the next, third version of Intel's integrated Extreme Graphics, with its dual-display capability and TV out.

Alviso features Intel's High Definition Audio sub-system, formerly known as 'Azalia', which is built into the ICH6-M South Bridge. As revealed last year, it also provides Serial ATA and Gigabit Ethernet support, along with room to cope with up to eight USB 2.0 ports and four PCI Express ports, primarily for ExpressCard devices.

Canny readers will have already noted the considerable similiarities between Alviso and 'Grantsdale', Intel's next major desktop chipset release, a point Chandrasekher himself conceded.

Sonoma's third component is the 'Calexico 2' tri-band 802.11 adaptor, which should ship sooner than 'Centrino 2' - or however Sonoma is finally branded. Chandrasekher said it would ship mid-2004, and feature new software, codenamed 'Muroc', that provides a much easier to use interface. Intel has also built in hardware-based AES encryption. ®

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