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Intel to follow 'Santa Rosa' Centrino with 'Montevina'

Only supporting DDR 3, for better power consumption?

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Intel has yet to ship 'Santa Rosa', the next major update to its Centrino laptop and small form-factor PC platform, but already it's working on the follow-up, codenamed 'Montevina', due to ship in 2008, it has been claimed.

Montevina will support 'Penryn', Intel's 45nm die-shrink of its current generation of 65nm Core 2 processors. The chip giant has said Penryn will debut in late 2007 and mark the company's shift to 45nm. A year later, Intel will introduce 'Nehalem', its 45nm-specific next major architecture revision.

Just as Santa Rosa hasn't followed hot on the heels of 'Merom', the Core 2 Duo mobile processor, so it seems likely Montevina will debut some months after Penryn. The 45nm chip is said to consume no more than 29W, compared to Merom's 35W TDP.

Penryn will also see the debut of SSE 4, 50 new instructions that will sit alongside the x86 ISA.

Montevina comprises the 'Cantiga' chipset, Japanese-language website PCWatch claims, along with a new wireless module, 'Shiloh'. The LAN controller's codenamed 'Boaz'.

Cantiga ups the frontside bus speed to 1,067MHz and looks set to support 800MHz DDR 3 in preference to the less power-efficient 800MHz DDR 2, the report suggests. The chipset family will include an integrated part containing ten pixel shaders, up from the GMA 3000's eight. Expect the graphics core to be clocked to 475MHz, we're told.

There are no details yet on Shiloh, but it's a good bet the part will bring WiMAX support on board, a feature Intel has already said it's working on incorporating into a future incarnation of Centrino. Santa Rosa will support a pre-802.11n specification, but Intel will offer a 3G cellular radio, co-developed with Nokia, as an optional extra. It's possible, therefore, that could be part of Shiloh too, but the smart money has to be on WiMAX. ®

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