Clearing the Air
Up until now, we had been tossing the words Centrino 2 and Montevina around interchangeably, the latter being an internal code-name reference to the former. Our understanding is that while Montevina is actually Centrino 2, a notebook vendor must use the right processor, chipset and networking solutions in order to call its product Centrino 2.
Unfortunately, those puzzle pieces don’t all yet exist. Intel discovered a problem with its GM45 and GM47 chipset components that could cause system hangs. The issue was purportedly solved with a software fix so that partners could validate their designs. Then, the “Shirley Peak” wireless card was held up by regulatory approval issues. Finally, Intel had to iron out the kinks in its Active Management Technology 4.0 software. The sum of those challenges resulted in a delay to the official Centrino 2 platform.
As a result, Centrino 2 actually launches in early August. The Montevina-based platforms you’ll be able to buy between now and then, which Intel wants its partners to make available so that they can still hit the back-to-school retail cycle, include the six 45 nm Core 2 Duo processors earmarked for Centrino 2, the Mobile PM45 Express chipset (remember that GM45 isn’t quite ready), and an existing wireless networking solution. Not quite enough to garner the Centrino 2 tag, but new enough to accurately be marketed as a Montevina-based configuration.
This is going to be a matter of education. After reading through Intel’s memo to its notebook partners, our takeaway was that notebooks based on Montevina, but without the full complement of Centrino 2 requisites, will not get Centrino 2 branding.