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Intel Corp. on Tuesday showcased its forthcoming mobile platforms that employ dual-core central processing units. The company also discussed technologies behind the platform code-named Napa and microprocessor code-named Yonah. The firm’s executive Sean Maloney said future mobile computers will be fully equipped to be always connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi or WiMAX technologies.

Computers Should be Mobile and Always Connected – Intel

“The industry is driving a new wave of innovation that feels a lot like the early days of the Internet era. Before Internet technologies, there was a tremendous amount of information in computers around the world - but it was locked into one location, one terminal, one user. With the advent of the browser and other technologies, this deluge of data became instantly available to people around the world,” said Sean Maloney, Intel Corporation executive vice president and co-general manager of Intel's recently formed Mobility Group.

“Now, with innovations in Wi-Fi and WiMAX technologies along with developments to make smarter, more efficient laptops, cell phones and PDAs, the industry can help take that experience even further and bring it to more people than ever before. Ultimately, we expect millions of new users to use low-cost wireless technologies to not just get broadband, but mobile broadband. Human beings are inherently mobile - and computing will be too,” Mr. Maloney added.

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.

Mobile Platforms Getting “Smarter”

While the mass market realised the benefits of wireless networks and notebooks with long battery life only recently, Intel is preparing another step forward: mobile platform that sports dual-core processor, a type of computer chip that can handle more operations at once than traditional single-core central processing unit, along with with wireless broadband capabilities.

Intel demonstrated the next-generation Intel Centrino mobile technology platform code-named Napa along with Intel’s first 65nm dual-core mobile-optimized processor code-named Yonah, a new chipset and next-generation Intel wireless solution.

Intel disclosed three new technologies planned for Yonah that will improve the performance, power and design of mobile platforms. They include Intel Digital Media Boost, an instruction set for rich digital multimedia content creation; Intel Advanced Thermal Manager, for enhanced thermal monitoring, accuracy and responsiveness; and Intel Dynamic Power Coordination, which can automatically adjust the performance and power between the two processing cores on demand.

Intel plans to ship Yonah mobile processor for revenue in late 2005 and officially launch the platform in 2006. Intel believes that by the end of 2006 more than 70% of performance mobile processors it produces at that time will be dual-core chips.

Napa Platform will inherit all the major innovations of Intel's latest Centrino incarnation previously known as Sonoma, such as PCI Express, DDR2 memory, etc., but will add next-generation integrated graphics engine code-named Calistoga, new power management tools that will increase battery life to over 5 hours, as well as WiMAX and 3G options, according to Intel’s previously discussed plans.

But WiMAX Deployments Still Rare

Wi-Fi adoption continues to grow at a rapid pace, as more and more wireless WAN networks are coming online, and WiMAX developments have progressed. Still, only a small percent of the world's population has broadband access of any kind.

“Over the last year, we estimate the number of engineers in the industry working on WiMAX-related technologies has increased tenfold. We’ve also seen the number of WiMAX carrier trials increase from two to 15 on its way to more than 75 before the end of 2005 and more than 200 companies have joined the WiMAX Forum,” Mr. Maloney noted.

“This is great progress, but as the data shows, we’ve only achieved limited broadband coverage, which gives our industry a great opportunity to deploy applications and services much more affordably using broadband wireless technologies,” Intel’s executive added.

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