DailyTech reported in late February that Intel was well on its way to launch its Montevina-based Centrino 2 platform in June of this year. The Centrino 2 platform is supposed to bring refreshed Penryn processors running on a 1066MHz FSB, three new northbridges with upgraded graphics (GM45, GM47, and PM45), and new 802.11n/WiMAX wireless controllers.
Those that were hoping to upgrade to new laptops in June will have to hold off -- at least for a few weeks. Intel announced today that it will delay the scheduled launch of Centrino 2 and the reason for the delay might be a surprise to many. Most would surmise that a delay big enough to slow down a major platform launch would be due to a problem with the processors or the chipset -- however, this response would only be half correct.
Two issues are contributing to the delayed rollout of Centrino 2: an issue with the integrated graphics controller on the GM45/GM47 and FCC certification issues with the Shirley Peak 802.11n wireless controllers. Intel spokesman Bill Kircos claims that the graphics anomaly was caught in final testing and a workaround has been identified. The WiFi/FCC mishap was due to "paperwork and certification mistake we made" according to Kircos.
Kircos went on to set a new launch date for Centrino 2. "Both of these led us to establishing a launch date for our mobile processors and discrete chipsets of the week of July 14th, and taking a couple of weeks to get the right readiness and volume for the rest of our components -- we're looking at early August for that."
Intel must be careful to ensure that its delays don't stretch too far into the Back to School shopping period which is fast approaching. Intel's Centrino 2 marketing will no doubt be in full swing during this period and it is imperative that Intel have adequate supply of all components necessary to achieve the "Centrino 2" badge of honor.
As for Intel's problems with its integrated graphics controller; it's sure to add more fuel to the fire for NVIDIA's incessant ribbing of Intel's IGP performance. NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang declared in early April that his company was "going to open a can of whoop ass" on the competition and declared Intel's IGPs "a joke".
quote: Intel spokesman Bill Kircos claims that the graphics anomaly was caught in final testing and a workaround has been identified.