Intel Preps Dual-Core Mobile Platform

Sean Maloney, executive VP and general manager of Intel's mobile platforms group, said Wednesday at a Wireless and Mobility conference in San Francisco that the company's new Napa mobile platform will be available in the first quarter of 2006, and will use Intel's first dual-core processor designed from the ground up for mobile applications, code-named Yonah.

Mobile processor "demand is on the high end of expectations, and is a global phenomena," Maloney said. "The market is hot and we're feeling good about our product position."

According to Intel, the percentage of mobile processors it ships versus desktop processors has grown from 20% in the first quarter of 2001 to 30% in the first quarter of 2005. The company expects that percentage to grow to one-third or more of total shipments by the first quarter of 2006.

Intel's efforts over the past few years in the mobile market have been successful in terms of both volumes shipped and in creating strong brand recognition. The Centrino brand has become nearly synonymous with mobility, and growth of mobile-processor shipments has significantly outstripped the rate of growth for Intel's desktop and server processors.

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In the first quarter this year, Intel brought out its latest Centrino platform, code-named Sonoma, which has helped the company continue its momentum, said Mooly Eden, VP and general manager of the mobile platforms group. "Mobile [adoption] is stronger than anyone expected," Eden said.

Computer makers are embracing the Napa platform faster than they adopted Sonoma, he said. Intel has already secured about 120 designs for Napa, about 30 more than Sonoma had secured at same point in its development.

In addition to the dual-core Yonah processor, the Napa mobile platform will include a Calistoga graphics engine, wireless LAN, virtualization technology, and active-management technology. Yonah will use a shared 2-Mbyte level-two cache, which will have the ability to dynamically allocate memory resources to the individual processing core depending on work demands, Eden said.

The Calistoga graphics will provide the same level of performance as will be found on the company's desktop platforms, he said.