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Intel to add 3G connectivity to next-gen Centrino?

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The next generation of Intel's Centrino platform, codenamed 'Santa Rosa', may well include 3G mobile phone network connectivity as well as the standard Wi-Fi, if allegedly leaked company roadmaps are to be believed.

According to a posting on Chinese-language site HKEPC, the Santa Rosa specification includes 'Windigo', the Centrino platform's first wireless wide-area network (WWAN) add-in.

The roadmap slide provides no further information beyond the part's Q2 2007 introduction timeframe - the same as 'Kedron', Intel's upcoming 801.11n Wi-Fi adaptor and a key Santa Rosa component.

The report claims Windigo will host GSM, GPRS and WCDMA/CDMA2000 connectivity, but cites no sources for this information. You might expect Intel to be pushing WiMAX rather than 3G, so we wouldn't rule this technology out as an alternative foundation for Windigo.

It's not known whether Windigo will be optional - as Intel's Flash-based hard drive accelerator technology, 'Robson', is expected to be - or an essential add-in for Centrino certification.

Whatever Windigo's nature, Intel will need to tread carefully. Its codename - if, indeed, it is an Intel codename - is also used by a manufacturer of wireless add-on products. Intel long ago opted for placename-derived codenames to avoid this kind of thing. ®

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