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Intel expects rapid 'Santa Rosa' ramp

Next-gen Centrino to sell big, fast, chip maker forecasts

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IDF Almost 90 per cent of all the Centrino-branded laptops sold in Q4 will be based on the latest version of Intel's mobile platform, 'Santa Rosa', the chip giant believes.

Santa Rosa debuts next month, though while some laptop manufacturers will announce models at that time, the big push will come two months later, Intel's mobility chief, Mooly Eden, said today.

The upshot will be that the new version will make up more than half of the Centrino laptops that ship in Q3, up from about 30 per cent in Q2. That figure, Eden predicted, will exceed 90 per cent in the fourth quarter.

The appeal, he said, will lie in Santa Rosa's much more consumer-friendly GMA 3000 integrated graphics core, which incorporate improved video processing as well as faster, Windows Vista-boosting 3D, even though it's a DirectX 9 GPU. Still, it's only the same GPU Intel built into the 965G-series desktop chipsets it launched almost a year ago.

Santa Rosa's chipset is the 965GM. It connects to 533MHz or 667MHZ DDR 2 SDRAM and the platform's ICH8M South Bridge. The platform will also see the inclusion of a NAND Flash module - aka Intel Turbo Memory - to cache data between the hard drive and memory. Intel said it not only halves application load times but reduces the wake-up-from-sleep time by a similar percentage.

A suitably cache-dependent demo showed a Google Earth/Adobe Photoshop Elements workflow run in almost half the time (68s) on a Turbo Memory-equipped laptop than on one without the Flash cache (120s).

Robson yields a 0.4W power saving. Santa Rosa will also used the latest version of Display Power Saving Technology (DPST), 3.0, to reduce power further. DPST 3.0 automatically switches between progressive and interlaced display modes. again according to the application you're running, saving up to 400mW of power.

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