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Intel Corp. said Friday its partners among makers of notebooks would showcase their laptops powered by Intel’s forthcoming platform code-named Sonoma in early January, 2005, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Intel Confirms Sonoma in January

“In January, Intel will launch the Sonoma platform, enabling mobile entertainment PCs that support accelerated graphics for superb DVD playback and gaming, theater-quality sound for MP3s and TV tuner ExpressCards that will be available soon,” Intel said in the statement.

Intel’s platform code-named Sonoma is focused on bringing high-end multimedia and technology features, such as PCI Express, DDR2 memory, DirectX 9.0 graphics, high-definition audio, etc.. Originally slated to come in 2004, the platform was pushed into 2005 due to some reasons.

“At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, January 6-9, 2005, see the latest all-in-one laptops based on the new Intel Centrino mobile technology, combining the features of personal data assistants, DVD and MP3 players, and mobile gaming devices,” Intel said.

AOpen recently showcased world's first Sonoma notebook computer.

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. ATI also preps various non-graphics AXIOM multimedia expansions for the notebooks.

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.

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