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Mobile Platforms: What’s New

Computing is going mobile, and it is happening very quickly. The level of intelligence is growing, but it has to be ubiquitous and it has to be broadband.

There are two things that need to happen to keep mobile computing going. First of all there should be an open standard wireless technology, and secondly, Intel needs t be truly dedicated and even fanatical about the performance of their solutions and their power consumption level. These are the key features most Intel customers care about in the first place.

Napa Platform

Right now Intel and partners are shipping solutions based on the existing Sonoma platform. The next mobile computing platform that is coming out real soon is going to be Napa platform – the first dual-core mobile supporting Intel Centrino technology.

This platform will be based on Intel’s dual-core mobile Yonah CPU. Since computers fundamentally imply the multi-tasking possibility, having an extra core will be extremely useful. The Intel mobile 945 Express chipset with integrated graphics core will offer better graphics performance. The Napa based notebooks will be much smaller in size and will boast better and more intelligent power management system. They will support such technologies as Enhanced Intel Deeper Sleep, Intel Dynamic Power Coordination and Intel Advanced Thermal Manager.

They even demonstrated two laptops based on the Napa platform that boasted all the above listed features. One of them was designed by Panasonic, and another one, the thin and wide one, by Samsung. The remarkable thing about the Panasonic solution is that it offers new battery design that is smaller, lighter and more efficient in terms of its life time. In particular, the new Panasonic solution offers about 30% improvement in the battery life.

In fact, Napa is moving into the market even faster than the predecessors. According to Intel, their partners have already developed over 220 different designs for different market segments that are already on the way and should get into mass production shortly.

Enterprise Mobility

Enterprise mobility is considered to be very important. Just like the home environment, the office also goes mobile. The enterprise has specific concerns that they like to address. To take care of these concerns and to make sure they can satisfy the needs of the mobile enterprise customers, Intel and Cisco established a mobility alliance.

The major questions this mobility alliance will be and already is addressing are network security and ease of use in the enterprise environment. Within this alliance they will be delivering enhanced VOIP (Voice Over IP) quality technology and optimal AP selection. According to the Cisco representatives, these will both be included into the business class wireless suite 2006 developed by this new alliance.

Mobile technologies have also moved quickly into the consumer market segment. To illustrate this statement Intel demonstrated two systems running office applications side by side. One of them was based on the dual-core mobile platform and we could clearly see the benefit of the dual-core. The benefits I am talking about implied not just a simple processing performance, but the ability of the system to handle the network.

One more example of the dual core advantages in the mobile platform was a picture rendering test in Cinebench 2005:

 
Image rendered on a system with dual-core processor (left) and single-core processor (right)

 
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