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45nm, quad-cores, ultra thin, sometimes smaller is better

Intel's focus for 2007 is to deploy its Santa Rosa platform, the Centrino successor to Napa. Intel, along with other partners, is working towards making computers smaller, lighter, and overall more efficient. But this is not to say that many of these platforms will be for home users. In fact, a large portion of Intel's initiative is to enable designs for thin-client computing -- devices geared towards the office space. Intel's roadmap indicates that all of 2007 will revolve around Santa Rosa, but hinted that a new platform will be announced sometime in the second quarter of 2008.

Codenamed Montevina, Intel's successor to Santa Rosa will not be a complete overhaul nor a new design in the way that its predecessor was. Instead, Montevina will build on Santa Rosa, using good things from that platform such as: small form factors, more efficient layout, minimum of DX9 integrated graphics support, HDCP encryption for graphics over all mainstream digital outputs such as HDMI, DVI and UDI, HD DVD and Blu-ray support and Robson solid state technology.

Montevina will utilize new chipsets dubbed Cantiga GM and PM. Both replace Crestline, which was based on Intel's 965 chipset family. Montevina will also introduce ICH9M or ICH9 Enhanced, which replaces ICH8M in Santa Rosa.

Intel will be introducing several new features to Montevina. VT Technology and Intel Trusted Execution Technology have both made its way into the new platform. Intel will also finally show off Robson 2.0, which will allow for high-speed solid state flash memory to be used for booting-up an operating system. Robson 2.0 also supports Microsoft's instant-on and off technologies in Vista. Keep in mind that the Robson technology family is for mobile platforms -- Intel has Snowgrass, which is the same technology for desktop platforms.

While Santa Rosa utilized Core 2 Duo processors, Montevina will revolve around Intel's upcoming Penryn processor, which is the direct successor of and 45nm-shrink of mobile Conroe. With Penryn at its core, Intel hopes to have its platforms utilizing 45nm technology by the second half of 2008.

Other features of Montevina-based platforms will come standard with gigabit Ethernet and Intel AMT 4.0 technology. AMT will allow IT managers to remotely troubleshoot and update features on a hardware level, such as firmware updates.




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