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Next-gen Centrino to ship 'May 2008'

CEO lets slip launch window

IDF Intel will ship 'Montevina', the next major incarnation of its Centrino platform, in May 2008, CEO Paul Otellini let slip today. He also announced a 25W version of the platform's Core 2 Duo processors, based on the 45nm 'Penryn' design.

To date, the chip giant has simply spoken of an H1 2008 launch window for Montevina. Otellini initially narrowed that to "mid 2008", but then named May as the ship month. He also said the technology was now "out of the lab" and proceeding toward production.

In the past, Intel has said the current, 'Santa Rosa' generation of Centrino will be refreshed with Penryn CPUs next year, and Otellini re-iterated the fact, pointing to an "early 2008" introduction.

Intel announced Montevina at last April's IDF, held in Beijing. It will incorporate the 'Cantiga' chipset, with an updated LAN chip, 'Boaz', and 'Echo Peak' and 'Shiloh' providing wireless connectivity. Echo Peak combines Wi-Fi and WiMAX. Curiously, he didn't mention 'Dana Point', Intel's planned WiMAX-only module for notebooks. Shiloh, by the way, is an 802.11n-only module.

Otellini confirmed that Cantiga's integrated graphics will support both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc "natively" - in other words, it'll support HDMI output and HDCP anti-rip technology. The reference to Blu-ray was interesting - traditionally, Intel has been forthright in its support for HD DVD.

Montevina's Penryn processors consume 35W of power, matching today's mobile Core 2 Duos. Leaks, however, recently indicated Intel is planning a low-voltage version - no great surprise; it's long offered LV versions of its mobile CPUs - that consume no more than 25W of power.

Otellini didn't give any details, but these 25W parts are expected to debut in Q2 2008 at 2.13GHz, 2.40GHz and 2.53GHz, all with 3MB of L2 cache. It's anticipated they'll be accompanied by 2.53GHz, 2.80GHz and 3.06GHz, 6MB L2 Penryns, all sitting on a 1066MHz frontside bus. The Santa Rosa refresh Penryns will support an 800MHz FSB.

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