Intel "Santa Rosa" Desktop Platform Detailed
June 14, 2006 5:05 AM
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Rear view of a Santa Rosa All-in-one PC
Intel's standard mini PC
Mobile units based on ultra-small custom components
Intel prepares to make a big splash into notebook and small form factor PCs
Intel has been pushing forward in a very strong way with platforms, ever since Centrino was introduced. A collection of different technologies brought together for some designed purpose was much more interesting to Intel from a marketing standpoint than just selling processors. Earlier this year at IDF, Intel talked briefly about its next-generation
desktop and mobile platform codenamed
. The new platform, which is slated to succeed the current
is due out in March of 2007
, but now we have some more concrete details about just what sets
apart and just what we can expect Intel to deliver when launch date approaches.
systems will revolve around Intel's
processor -- the successor to the current Core Duo and Core Solo processor family --
now called Core 2 Duo
. Intel's next-generation chipset for
, and is based on Intel's 965 chipset family.
will deliver dual integrated graphics capabilities or support for discrete graphics using
the GMA X3000 graphics engine
. DDR2 667MHz/533MHz will be the standard memory of choice and
will support either 800MHz or 667MHz FSB configurations. Paired with Intel's ICH8M,
will also support
NAND flash module technology
that will be introduced when
As part of the
standard, Intel will require that all systems based on the new platform support HDMI and UDI interfaces for graphics output. HDCP will also be a standard requirement for Windows Vista support as well as for Blu-ray and HD-DVD content protection.
will be able to support Windows Vista Premium requirements just by integrated graphics alone.
Non-portable configurations of Centrino have unofficially been dubbed Mobile on DeskTop (MODT) in Intel circles for years.
, ECS and
all have shipping products revolving around the
chipset on non-portable systems. With
, Intel is breaking down the non-mobile platform into different categories: all-in-one PCs, entertainment PCs, ultra-sleek PCs and mini PCs.
All-in-one devices will have the LCD screen as well as all other components (CPU, memory) integrated into one panel similar to the way Apple designs its latest iMac. Intel will also be pushing "mini" form-factor PCs too. While many manufacturers such as Acer and Apple have already shipped mini-style systems, Intel will now make these MODT projects officially sanctioned for the
platform. Sleek systems will be able to stand vertically, similar in fashion to Sony's PlayStation 2 console.
Intel Santa Rosa Platform Configurations
Max Power (W)
Depends on LCD
107.8 - 112.8
Intel will also be taking
mobile with a small form factor based very much on its all-in-one design but minus an integrated LCD screen. These units are flat and are slightly larger than the mini PCs. Desktop versions will also be flat; appearing almost like a half-length 1U chassis and are able to take standard desktop components such as add-in cards, optical drives and larger hard drives. From the above comparison chart, all
platforms will be fairly flat, taking not very much room and most will be able to fit right into a home theater component rack. Power consumption and noise levels are significantly less than standard desktop PCs but are actually a hair higher than
-based systems. Of course, exact performance figures will be dependent a manufacturer's choice of components.
In terms of storage,
NAND flash memory
technology, integrated directly into the motherboard chipsets or as a small add-in card. Whether or not a hybrid hard drive is used, a
system will be able to save data to NAND flash memory and even boot the system from it. This will allow
PCs to perform what Intel calls Instant On and Instant Off, much like standard A/V equipment.
PCs will also be supporting Intel's next-generation Wi-Fi module, codenamed
, Intel will be supporting the new 802.11n standard that is still currently being hammered out.
will support all the current 802.11a, b and g standards when it is introduced. At Computex last week,
ECS demonstrated a
based prototype notebook
Platforms are clearly a strong focus for Intel after the success of Centrino; earlier this year the company announced its
Viiv initiative for HTPCs
based PCs like the ones mentioned today,
followed by the business vPro platform
. Interestingly enough,
also ran an article on desktop-replacement notebooks that may actually use the Core 2 Duo Conroe desktop processor, which seems to be the
inverse of the MODT project
. Intel insiders have assured us the
MODT projects will have working products in Q1'07 to coincide with the Viiv 1.7 release.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
6/14/2006 7:18:20 AM
At one time I was contemplating waiting for my next computer purchase in order for Santa Rosa to be released but given the proposed release date and relative lack of upgrades over the Napa refresh, I'll be buying in August/September when Merom is released. The faster memory is attractive, assuming that Apple will support it in a revised MacBook Pro, but beyond that I am not particularly interested in the remaining features and my deperation for a new computer means that I won't be waiting on this. In some ways this is a shame but in others it at least means that I'll get a new computer much sooner.
It's possibly worth noting here that my current computer only holds a 1GHz processor and is still running PC133 memory so the Napa Refresh and Merom will wipe the floor with this computer. I'm sure that Santa Rosa will be great for people who can wait but I can't really justify additional delays relative to the additional benefits that this brings.
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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