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Thursday, September 20, 2007
IDF: Intel Pushing WiMax-enabled Mobile Devices

Intel is on the verge of making its biggest push yet into mobile consumer electronics, seeking to replicate its success in mobile personal devices, as well as personal computers long before that.

"Intel is the undisputed market leader today with notebook PCs by providing consumers with what they want in performance, battery life and a fully loaded internet experience," said David (Dadi) Perlmutter, Intel senior vice president and general manager, Mobility Group. "Intel will satisfy those needs by delivering our latest 45nm processors and WiMAX to notebooks, as well as Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) in 2008, and also using some of these technologies to bring an affordable computing and Internet experience to emerging communities and economies around the world."

Perlmutter continued by discussing how Intel continues to provide advanced mobile processors based on innovative High-k metal gate (Hi-k) silicon technology that deliver energy efficiency for great battery life needed by users on-the-go. He showed what users could expect in terms of more performance and battery life features when the next-generation Centrino Duo processor technology is refreshed with Intel's 45nm Hi-k dual core mobile processor, codenamed Penryn. Perlmutter also demonstrated the graphics improvement for the refreshed Centrino Duo based notebooks by unlocking advanced graphic technologies for an enhanced visual experience, especially with DirectX 10-based applications.

Montevina to Support Blu-Ray, HD DVD

Due out later in 2008, Montevina processor technology, also based on Penryn, will span the full range of notebook designs from mini-notes to full size. Also featured in Montevina is integrated HD-DVD/Blu-ray support for consumers and next generation data manageability and security features for the enterprise. Montevina will be Intel's first Centrino processor technology for notebooks to offer the option of integrated Wi-Fi and WiMAX wireless technologies. Montevina's Cantiga chipset will offer high definition graphics support, as well as HDCP support.

Full Internet -- In Your Pocket

Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility Group, described the evolution of the personal mobile Internet, outlined Intel's silicon roadmap that will deliver radical reductions in power requirements and package sizes, and disclosed a range of leading industry players working with Intel to establish the MID and ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) categories.

In the first half of next year, Intel will deliver its Menlow platform, a collection of chips and other components to power Mobile Internet Devices, or MIDs.

MIDs are designed to deliver information to users of gadgets such as satellite-based navigators, rather than for entering data.

"Mobile users are demanding to take the full Internet experience anytime, anywhere ? in essence these users want the full Internet to be delivered to them wirelessly and in their pocket," Chandrasekher said. "In the first half of 2008, Intel will take a major step to deliver what these users are looking for with our first platform designed from the ground up for MIDs and UMPCs ? codenamed Menlow, which will deliver 10x lower power compared to the first UMPCs in the market. After Menlow our next-generation platform ? codenamed Moorestown, will increase battery life an order of magnitude by reducing idle power by 10x compared to Menlow."

Menlow is based on Silverthorne a 45nm Hi-k low power microarchitecture-based processor and next-generation chipset, codenamed Poulsbo. Also featured on the Menlow- based customer designs are optional standardized communications capabilities such as Wi-Fi, 3G and WiMAX to enable more of an always-connected experience. Wi-Fi is already widespread and enables high-speed Internet access over distances of up to about 300 feet from the broadcast point. By comparison, WiMax can provide broadband wireless network access across far longer distances and can be used to blanket entire cities or regions with coverage.

A number of early working prototypes, resulting from the formation of the Mobile Internet Device Innovation Alliance 6 months ago, were demonstrated by Chandrasekher.

Chandrasekher provided a sneak peek at Moorestown that consists of a system on chip (SOC) design combining the CPU, graphics, video and memory controller onto a single chip. A Moorestown-based MID will have idle power that will be 10x lower than the 2008 Menlow design, enabling longer battery life in smaller form factors.

In addition, Chandrasekher was joined on stage by Al Ramadan, senior vice president, Mobile and Device Solutions Business Unit, Adobe. Ramadan described Adobe AIR and discussed how the combination of MIDs and Adobe AIR applications will bring new experiences to the user. Adobe AIR will support Windows and Linux based Menlow platforms in the future.

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