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Intel rolls out the red carpet for its next generation Centrino platform.

Intel today announced its next generation Santa Rosa Centrino platform. Over the past years, details of various aspects of the platform have leaked out such as the processors used, Robson NAND flash technology and the new Draft-N wireless adapter.

"When we introduced Intel Centrino 4 years ago, Intel changed the computing landscape with our mobile innovations," said Intel Mobile Products Group VP and general manager Mooly Eden. "Now, simply said, we have improved virtually all aspects of Intel-based notebooks, the most popular and fastest growing computing market segment in the world."

The new Merom-based Core 2 Duo processors are still based on a 65nm manufacturing process but now feature an 800MHz front side bus (up from 667MHz). Intel has also introduced Super Low Frequency Mode (Super LFM) and Enhanced Intel Deeper Sleep to reduce power consumption when idle.

The chipset used with Santa Rosa is the Intel Mobile 965 Express (PM965). It is essentially a rejigged version of the 965 Express Broadwater chipset introduced for desktop last year. The PM965 northbridge is paired with the ICH8M southbridge. It supports 10 USB 2.0 connections, three 3Gbps SATA ports, GbE and six PCIe x1 lanes. ICH8M also supports Intel Active Management Technology 2.5 (AMT 2.5).

Another welcome update is in the area of graphics. For notebooks not using discrete graphics solutions from ATI or NVIDIA, there is the new GMA X3100 IGP. The GPU is clocked at 500MHz and supports Windows Vista Aero Glass.

Although notebook manufacturers still have the option of using the Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG wireless network adapter, most will opt for the new Intel Wireless Wi-Fi Link 4965AGN Draft-N network adapter. The adapter supports 802.11a, 802.11b/g and 802.11 Draft-N standards. When operating in 802.11n mode, the adapter offers theoretical transfer speeds of up to 300Mbps while giving twice the range of 802.11g solutions.

Another new feature included with Santa Rosa is Intel Turbo Memory (formerly known as Robson). We first saw Intel Turbo Memory in operation at last year's Computex, but today the technology is actually ready for prime time. As previously detailed on DailyTech, notebook manufacturers will be able to install 512MB or 1GB of dedicated NAND memory in systems to improve application load times, reduce Windows Vista boot times and increase battery life due to less reliance on the physical HDD.

As you may have noticed, Santa Rosa-based notebooks have been popping up all over from Sony, Lenovo, Fujitsu, Asus and HP. The announcements continue to pour in with new Santa Rosa notebooks from HP and two more from Dell.





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