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Intel on Monday decided it was time to launch its already delayed Centrino 2 notebook platform despite the absence of the ambitious, combined WiMAX/WiFi module which was originally intended to be part of the next-generation mobile package at launch.
Ongoing FCC certification issues around the WiMAX/WiFi card forced Intel to leave its much-touted 4G wireless technology out of the mix on Centrino 2's big day.
A seperate problem, a technical issue with integrated graphics on the main Centrino 2 chipset, has been resolved, according to Intel. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip maker originally scheduled its Centrino 2 launch for late June but in May pushed it back to mid-July due to the chipset glitch.
Intel released five new Core 2 Duo mobile processors and a blazing fast Core 2 Extreme chip as part of the Centrino 2 launch in San Francisco. The WiMAX/Wi-Fi 5050 Series module that had been planned as an optional feature for the first line of Centrino 2 laptops will be released later in the year, according to Mooly Eden, general manager of Intel's Mobile Platforms Group and moderator of the launch event held at Mezzanine in downtown San Francisco.
Formerly codenamed Montevina, Centrino 2 is Intel's fifth-generation Centrino platform, succeeding the Santa Rosa and Santa Rosa refresh editions of the chip giant's mobile hardware technology.
Intel, like main microprocessor rival Advanced Micro Devices recently did with its own mobile platform launch, was clearly playing up total solution opportunities for notebook builders and resellers rather than stressing individual components at Monday's launch event.
AMD, headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., launched its Puma notebook platform in early June. As with an earlier desktop platform release, AMD packaged mobile hardware combinations for three computing areas, AMD Live for mainstream multimedia consumers, AMD Game for enthusiasts and AMD Business Class for commercial deployments.
Intel appeared to be following suit Monday. Among the dozens of notebooks on display at Mezzanine were simple, cost-effective rigs for mainstream users, high-end gaming systems with discrete graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD-ATI, and business PCs featuring Intel's proprietary vPro platform for secure out-of-band system management across commercial notebook fleets.
And Intel's Montevina design wins were spread across its broad partner channel. Centrino 2 notebooks from HP, Lenovo and other Tier 1 OEMs were showcased alongside whitebooks built by regional players like Seneca Data and Equus Computer Systems.