Intel outlines dual-core roadmap for Centrino platform

San Francisco (CA) - On the second day of IDF, Intel continued to tout its multi-core processor strategy. The company demonstrated its first dual-core desktop chip and added the "Yonah" processor to its roadmap, which will be Intel's first dual-core mobile processor.

Parallelism remained one of the key topics at IDF on Tuesday. After introducing the strategy and providing details for enterprise platforms yesterday, Intel today moved its focus to business and consumer products. Executive Bill Siu demonstrated the first dual-core chip running on a 915G-chipset based motherboard as logical evolution of Hyperthreading. The chip will keep the Socket 775 and is expected to become available in 2005.

Anand Chandrasekher, vice president and general manager of Intel's Mobile Platforms Group, detailed Intel's multi-core approach for the mobile platform. The next evolution level for the current Centrino-platform will be "Sonoma", which originally was scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year but now is moved to the first quarter of 2005. Sonoma will be based on DDR2-533 and the corresponding chipset "Alviso" along with the recently released PRO/Wireless 2915ABG network connection, which support 802.11 standards a, b, and g.

Sonoma is followed by a new platform, today introduced on the roadmap and code-named "Napa". This platform will be first to include a dual-core processor which Intel calls "Yonah". Chandrasekher did not provide any technical details besides the fact that the chip will be based on 65nm-process technology. The Napa platform will include a new graphics chipset code-named "Calistoga" as well as a new wireless solution named "Golan".

The executive stressed the importance of further improving battery lifetime in mobile computers. "Let's not forget that to be truly mobile, we have to focus on removing plugs too, and Intel is working with the industry on a platform approach to achieve the goal of eight-hour battery life by 2010," Chandrasekher said. "The industry is already addressing some of these challenges via the Mobile PC Extended Battery Life Working Group and today's release of ACPI specification v.3.0, but further industry cooperation and work is needed."