Intel Demonstrates Atom, New Centrino and Its Own Line of SSDs Drives
Going into the future, Intel is working on another Atom processor code named Pinview which will feature an integrated GPU. Based on the Lincroft architecture, Pinview will be released in a single-core package or a dual-core package with both featuring an integrated single-channel DDR2 memory controller. Both single and dual-core versions of Pinview will feature HyperThreading
Intel today also demonstrated its Montevina platform which will replace Santa Rosa. Montevina, now officially called Centrino 2, is being formally demonstrated very much at the same time as when Santa Rosa based products were last year. With what is essentially "Centrino for 2008," the new platform will officially support solid state memory, both on the hard drive front as well as a large static buffer for storing portions or all of an operating system.
Called Turbo Memory, Intel demonstrated its high speed small buffer memory technology in a Centrino 2 prototype notebook against conventional models using Santa Rosa. Under heavy movie rendering, a Centrino 2 notebook with Turbo Memory and a solid state HD (SSD) bested a traditional SATA Santa Rosa platform by over 33-perfcent - taking only 2 minutes to render instead of 3.
Interestingly, all the benchmark laptops were using Windows XP instead of Vista, pointing to a possible driver issue with new Centrino 2 hardware and Windows Vista.
The new platform will also be paired with ICH9M or ICH9 Enhanced, which replaces ICH8 used with Santa Rosa.
Intel also announced that along with Centrino 2, it will begin manufacturing its own line of SSDs. Coming in 1.8" and 2.5" form factors, Intel will initially produce drives in capacities ranging from 32 GB to 160 GB. Intel did not confirm to us whether or not its SSD drives will be available for retail purchases.
With Intel jumping into the SSD market, its sales will help to drive the cost of SSDs down. Even though SSDs are available today, prices are still way above what most consumers are able to afford - or justify. For reference, Apple gives customers the option of upgrading its MacBook Air’s conventional 80 GB HDD to a 64 GB SDD for a whopping $1000.
Intel also talked about vPro, essentially the wireless management technology included with Centrino 2. With vPro, users will be able to wirelessly manage their laptop even when the laptops are asleep. This means starting, restarting and stopping a laptop from a remote location. Being remote, a laptop is also at risk of being compromised and stolen. Intel Anti-Theft technology prevents access at chip-set level. Disabling and locking access to BIOS, RAM and hard drives, Intel said Centrino 2 will be the most secure mobile platform ever. According to roadmaps, Intel will introduce vPro to the Core 2 platform in Q3 of this year.
Intel roadmaps indicated that Centrino 2 based laptops will be available in the market after June of this year.