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Intel Unveils Montevina, Centrino 2 Platform
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Date: Jul 15, 2008
Section:Mobile
Author: Dave Altavilla
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Intel Unveils Montevina, Centrino 2 Platform
Intel has just officially announced the Montevina mobile platform, their 5th generation of the underlying technology that makes up the company's Centrino 2 mobile architecture.  Like previous iterations, the Montevina platform consists of a processor, chipset, and a specific wireless network module.  New with Montevina, however, are also a fresh batch of 45nm Penryn-derived mobile processors with Front Side Bus frequencies up to 1066MHz, the Mobile 4 Express Series of chipsets, (GL40, GS45, GM45, GM47, and PM45) some with GMA X4500 DX10 graphics cores, and a number of WiFi / WiMax-enabled wireless network modules, including the Shirley Peak controller pictured here.  Although we should note, Intel is still waiting on certifications from the FCC to intro some of the WiMax enabled controllers, and they won't arrive until a bit later in the year.

Notebooks based on the Montevina platform will fall under the Centrino 2 brand. And enterprise targeted notebooks with additional security and manageability features built in will carry the Centrino 2 vPro moniker.  The processors for the platform don't differ much from current offerings, except for their FSB frequencies and final clock speeds.  The new Mobile 4 Express Series of chipsets, however, bring a number of new features to the table.  For one, the chipset's MCH can support DDR2 and DDR3 memory technologies, so high-speed DDR3 memory will be coming to the mobile space finally. 

 



The chipset also sports a new DX10 graphics core, capable of offloading all of the major HD video codecs from the host CPU.  We recently met with Intel and briefly got to see a Montevina-based notebook playing back a Blu-Ray movie.  CPU utilization was expectedly very low.  Intel reps were also eager to point out the video-playback image quality of the platform, which can output deep, artifact-free black tones among other enhancements. 


Intel Montevina-based Lenovo IdeaPad Y730 With Game Zone

Intel gets HUGI for power conservation -
The new chipsets, in conjunction with the latest mobile processors, also have a new capability Intel calls "HUGI" -- for Hurry Up and Get Idle.  According to Intel, HUGI is designed to add more processor power for a certain set of computing tasks, yet it can more quickly turn off or spin down un-used portions of the processor to get back to a more energy-efficient state.  The net effect of HUGI is that processing is more power-efficient and batter life is improved.

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WiMaxWiFi, vPro and First Design Wins
Montevina's wireless networking support also gets bolstered by combo WiFi / WiMax network adapters, although, as we noted earlier, not all of wireless network modules will have WiMax built in. 

 

The latest round of Intel-built wireless controllers also add support for 802.11 MIMO and vPro compatible offerings with Wake on LAN for WiFi connections.

A number of notebooks based on the Montevina platform have already been announced, or will be announced shortly.  Intel has actually claimed more than 240 design wins already in development.   

 
Fujitsu T5010, Systemax Medallion MV13

 
Toshiba Qosmio X305, ZT Systems N4001i-17

What you see pictured above are the Fujitsu T5010, the Systemax Medallion MV13, the ZT System N4001i-17, and the hot Toshiba Qosmio X305. We've already have requests in with a couple of vendors, and are planning to fully evaluate a myriad of Montevina-based notebooks in the not too distant future.


 
Montevina Component Pricing, Courtesy Intel Corp.

Intel's official announcement of the platform is due to hit the wire shortly.  We'll update you with more details and a full performance profile, as we begin to get Montevina based notebooks in house for evaluation.  In the meantime, as you can see, Intel has completely revamped their entire platform, soup to nuts as they say, with new processors up and down the lineup, a new chipset, and wireless connectivity technology as well.  Stay tuned for more on Montevina and how it stacks up to AMD's Puma platform in the months ahead. 




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