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Intel Corp. said on Wednesday that it would delay release of the long-anticipated Intel Centrino 2 mobile platform following reports about technical issues with the platform. The delay means that instead of the second quarter, systems based on the new set of chips from Intel will become available in the third quarter of the year, in time for back-to-school season.

The world’s largest maker of microprocessors was expected to release its next-generation mobile platform code-named Montevina sometime in May – June timeframe this year, however, due to issues with certification of a new wireless network controller at FCC and certain problems found with integrated graphics core of Intel GM45 chipset, the new deadline for Intel Centrino 2 introduction is 14th of July, 2008.

“On July 14th we will introduce our Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme mobile processors and begin initial shipments of some of our chipsets [for Intel Centrino 2]. We expect to ship our complete line of chipsets and wireless chips in high volume a couple of weeks later, the first week of August. We are taking the extra days to address two issues that require us to re-screen our chipsets with integrated graphics, and attend to some ‘Ts and Cs’ (terms and conditions) mistakes while filing and testing our wireless antennas,” said Connie Brown, a spokeswoman for Intel.

The chipmaker does not expect any material impact on its second quarter results, probably because revenue shipments of the devices are scheduled to begin in Q2 2008.

“This couple-of-weeks delay does not change our outlook for the second quarter. These laptops are in high demand and this is an important introduction for everyone involved. We’re doing our best to make sure we meet the critical back-to-school buying time and also have a high state of readiness of all of our products to best meet demand,” said Bill Kircos, an Intel spokesman.

Still, the delay of volume shipments till August mean that competing solutions, such as notebooks based on microprocessors by Advanced Micro Devices or previous-generation of Intel Centrino laptops, may enjoy better-than-expected sales due to lack of competition from mainstream Intel Centrino 2 in mass quantities.

Intel’s code-named Montevina platform is projected to be launched in the middle of the year. Intel Centrino 2-based laptops will feature code-named Echo Peak Wi-Fi/WiMAX controller combo or code-named Shirley Peak Wi-Fi controller. The former will allow to connect not only to wireless local area networks (WLANs), but also to wide-area networks (WANs), a valuable feature in countries and cities with WiMAX coverage. Other changes, include performance boost of central processing units (CPUs), availability of quad-core mobile processors for high-performance laptops and usage of DDR3 memory on certain laptops.


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