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AOpen, a maker of various print-circuit boards-based products and a manufacturer of notebooks, has showcased an Intel Centrino laptop with DDR2 SDRAM memory inside at Japanese PC DIY Expo. The company said the mobile computer was powered by “next-generation chipset for notebooks”, which is generally referred as Alviso and brings loads of enhancements to mobiles.

First Sonoma Notebook Showcased

The laptop with chassis named 1558-JL is marked “internal use only” and is scheduled for commercial launch in the first quarter of 2005. The current incarnation of the mobile PC is equipped with 15.1” screen with native resolution of 1024x768, weighs around 2.4Kg and can operate 5.5 hours on the battery. The chassis based on Alviso chipset incarnation with built-in graphics engine can support Intel Pentium M and Celeron M processors with 400MHz or 533MHz Quad Pumped Bus, DDR2 SDRAM memory, Serial ATA hard disk drives and so on.

AOpen did not provide any additional details about the 1558-JL laptop, such as performance numbers or guidelines on the official launch dates, according to Akiba PC Hotline web-site. The company, however, said the notebook was equipped with DDR2 SO-DIMM from Corsair, still it is unclear who is the producer of the 2.5” Serial ATA mobile hard-disk drive.

Intel said it would ship Alviso chipsets and the new Intel Pentium M processors in late 2004, but will formally intoduce the new mobile platform code-named Sonoma only in 2005.

Sonoma – Consumer-Oriented Mobile Platform

Intel’s code-named Alviso core-logic is expected to support dual-channel DDR2 SDRAM memory to improve performance tangibly compared to current mobile platforms. Additionally, certain incarnations of the Alviso are likely to feature 533MHz processor system bus to partner with the upcoming Intel Pentium M “Dothan” processors that will get PSB boost late this year.

Intel said that the Sonoma platform primarily targets the consumers, while the initial Centrino incarnation addressed the needs of business and enterprise users, who are not much interested in loads of multimedia capabilities, but are more concentrated on battery life and wireless LAN capability.

In order to offer more advantages to consumers, Intel said its next-generation mobile core-logic – Alviso – will enable PCI Express interconnections in notebooks, allowing installation of powerful mobile graphics add-in cards, such as ATI AXIOM and NVIDIA MXM, designed specifically for this bus.

In order to complete the transition of the mobile technologies to the most-advanced level, Intel is also projected to add support for Serial ATA-150 to the upcoming ICH6-M and bring advanced Azalia audio to its “Sonoma” Mobile Internet PC 2004 Platform enabling Dolby-Digital 7.1 and high-quality audio on such kind of PCs. Additionally, expect the new platform to support NEWCARD, as well as new and even more effective power-saving (EBL’04) and security features, such as biometrics.

As a part of its “SonomaMobile Internet PC 2004 Platform (Centrino 2004), Intel also plans to launch an 802.11g/Bluetooth solution with improved Bluetooth audio quality while using WLAN. The company’s longer-term plans are to enable 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth and GSM-GPRS co-existence on the same mobile platform.

Intel did not comment on the current news-story.

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