Intel has outlined the latest step in its attack on mobile office productivity and multimedia notebooks, unveiling Sonoma, the codename for its new Centrino products designed for bringing high-end hardware and the associated performance to mobile computing.
Designed to meet the needs of small and large business workers be they SMB or enterprise, Intel believes it has the right mix to offer products powerful enough to address the requirements of intensive business software but still suitable for consumer grade notebooks.
Scaleable all the way from 12 inch Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) CPU workhorses to 17 inch multimedia and gaming powerhouses, the Sonoma platform brings hardware currently only found on the desktop to mobiles, the company said.
Some of these include Serial ATA (SATA) hard disk drive support, upgradeable PCI-Express graphics architecture and DDR2 memory, all three of which are found in the desktop variant of the 915 chipset which makes up the new technology.
Sonoma adds DirectX 9 class integrated graphics and the provision for either an 802.11b/g or tri-band 2915ABG 802.11a/b/g wireless LAN module as chosen by the system builder, improving on last generation’s dual band technology and providing support for the 5GHz flavour often chosen by businesses for its shorter-range but wider band transmissions, Intel said.
This was directly related to a slide shown at today’s Sydney release event, detailing that 100 percent of notebooks sold by 2007 will feature some form of integrated wireless module.
Today’s announcement marks a next step in Intel’s Centrino dream of focusing primarily on mobility without compromising on functionality.
"The platform’s new consumer and office-friendly capabilities allow an Intel Centrino mobile technology-based laptop to be not only a computer and a wireless communicator, but also a gaming console, home theatre, MP3 player and a critical business companion," the company claimed.
Intel couldn’t give a firm number of partners who would develop or sell products for the platform although some 80 units were probably globally ready to ship at the time of launch. A further 150 designs were on the drawing board and would be ready and available by mid 2005, the company said.
These ranged from ULV 753 1.2GHz Pentium M processors all the way up to a 2.13GHz 770 series CPU for more power-intensive notebooks.
Consumers should expect to see retail products as soon as the beginning of February through major notebook vendors.