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Intel to announce 'Napa' Centrino 3 at IDF

But Centrino 2's not out yet...

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Intel hasn't even shipped 'Sonoma', the second generation of its Centrino mobile platform yet, but it may well announce the third-generation at Intel Developer Forum (IDF) next month.

So claim unnamed sources cited by DigiTimes. The site's article refers what we'll call 'Centrino 3' as "a notebook-use dual-core processor, codenamed 'Napa', slated for launch in the first quarter of 2006".

Napa is actually the successor to Sonoma, and is believed to be the platform that will incorporate the dual-core Pentium M, 'Yonah'; a new chipset, 'Callistoga'; and Intel's next-gen. wireless solution 'Gaston'.

Yonah is essentially two 'Dothan' cores plus a whole heap of shared L2 cache. Callistoga appears to be a beefed up version of 'Alviso', the 'Grantsdale'-like mobile chipset that's due to appear in Q1 2005. Callistoga is said to provide Alviso's 533MHz frontside bus, PCI Express support, Hi-Def audio and 667MHz DDR 2, but with Serial ATA II.

A year on from Napa, Intel is apparently lining up 'Santa Rosa', with a new dual-core Pentium M, 'Merom'; chipset, 'Crestine'; and wireless component, 'Gaston 2'. Merom may introduce HyperThreading to Pentium M line, but will at least represent the next generation of core beyond Dothan.

It is also thought to form the basis for a new line of dual-core, Pentium M-based desktop chips, though the arrival of 'Smithfield', a dual-core 'Prescott' may have changed that. Possibly Smithfield is a stop-gap until Merom's desktop sibling - perhaps codenamed 'Conroe' - ships. Either way, DigiTimes' sources claim Smithfield will make its first public appearance at IDF.

IDF takes place on 7-9 September in San Francisco. We'll be there - watch out for our extensive coverage of the show's key announcements. ®

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