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As expected, world’s leading chipmaker Intel Corp. has unveiled the details of its first dual-core chip for notebooks during the Intel Developer Forum Fall 2004 show in San Francisco, California. The company said the new microprocessor is likely to emerge commercially already in 2005.

Napa, Dual-Core Yonah Demonstrated

Intel’s executives outlined some longer-term trends of mobile computing, including the description of code-named Napa mobile platform. The Napa that will be available after the Sonoma will include a new dual-core mobile processor, code-named Yonah, based on Intel’s 65nm process technology. The platform will also include a new integrated graphics chipset code-named Calistoga as well as next generation Intel wireless solution codenamed Golan.

“Intel has revealed the technology behind dual-core 65nm Yonah processor at IDF Fall 2004,” Anna Filatova, Editor in Chief for X-bit labs web-site said.

Dual-core processors can process two times more data per clock and handle more than one threads at once. This allows the whole system to perform a lot better under high load when running multiply processors. However, software makers still have to learn how to efficiently create software that takes advantage from multi-core designs. Designing applications that can take advantage of increase processing power is something Intel is likely to address at IDF Fall 2004.

Intel Calls for Partners to Increase Battery Life

Adding new functions and capabilities to mobile platforms taxes battery life and can limit notebook designs. Intel is working to reverse this trend by developing power state management techniques and new battery technologies essential to extending laptop battery life and keeping form factors small and light-weight.

“Let’s not forget that to be truly mobile, we have to focus on removing plugs too, and Intel is working with the industry on a platform approach to achieve the goal of eight-hour battery life by 2010,” said Anand Chandrasekher, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Mobile Platforms Group.

“The industry is already addressing some of these challenges via the Mobile PC Extended Battery Life Working Group and today’s release of ACPI specification v.3.0, but further industry cooperation and work is needed,” Mr. Chandrasekher added.

Intel also introduced the Intel Battery Life Optimization Program to help resolve some of the power management and platform configuration hurdles to achieving all-day battery life. The company will work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs) to provide technical guidance on power delivery and power management architecture. Intel will also develop guidelines for optimizing power saving features using Intel hardware and software ingredients that OEMs/ODMs can design-in for greater battery life gains.

Increased Communication Options

Intel is also driving progress in the rapidly growing wireless ecosystem. As wireless services have become more and more prevalent in our lives, service providers continue to look to new technologies such as WiMAX to build out wireless broadband networks and look to Intel for the latest improvements in ease-of-use and technologies.

According to Intel’s estimation, around 60% of notebooks shipping today support wireless LAN. The company projects 90% and 96% notebooks to sport WLAN in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

With the majority of mobile PCs supporting Wi-Fi, Intel now pays more attention to more wireless communication technologies, such as WiMAX, that is said to be to DSL/Cable broadband the same as cellular telephony was to landline telephony. The microprocessor giant expects about 5 million WiMAX enabled notebooks to ship in 2006, around 20 million in 2007 and over 40 million in 2008.


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