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12/13/2005
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Intel's Next-Gen Mobile Platform Promises Efficiency

Intel Corp.'s next-generation Centrino notebook platform reportedly offers significant improvements in power efficiency and performance, which could result in significantly longer battery life.

SAN FRANCISCO — Intel Corp.'s next-generation Centrino notebook platform offers significant improvements in power efficiency and performance, an Intel executive said Tuesday (Dec. 13).

Speaking to a group of journalists here, Keith Kressin, director of marketing for Intel's mobile platforms group, said the platform, codenamed Napa, offers a 28 percent reduction in average power usage when compared with the company's current top-of-the-line Sonoma platform. Kressin said Napa offers an average power improvement of more than 1 watt when compared with Sonoma (3 watts compared with 4.2 watts).

According to Kressin, this power usage improvement will result in significantly longer battery life. He said he is confident that Sonoma already offers the industry's best battery life and that the improvement provided by Napa would further distance Intel from the competition.

Kressin said the improvement in power efficiency was made possible by a combination of factors, including Intel's Smart Cache Design technology, an enhanced "deeper sleep" state, interaction between the chipset and the processor and a power efficiency boost associated with migrating to 65-nanometer technology.

Even as it decreases power usage, Napa offers better performance in terms of speed, Kressin said. Using various industry-standard benchmarks, Napa demonstrates a performance improvement of 30 percent to more than two-fold over Sonoma, he said.

"Napa offers substantially improved performance at the same time that we have this better battery life," Kressin said.

Napa, which debuts early next year, has already achieved more than 230 design wins, Kressin said, more than Sonoma ever did. He credited the maturity of the market for mobile technology, good engagements across all geographies and the greater variety of mobile computing form factors for the proliferation.

Kressin said Napa would not be priced significantly higher than Sonoma. Original equipment manufacturers, he said, "have no reason" not to migrate to Napa.

Referencing the four vectors that Intel established with the introduction of Centrino in 2003 — performance, battery life, wireless functionality and form factor, Kressin said Napa represents a step forward in each area.

Napa, based on Intel's new 65-nm, dual-core mobile processor, codenamed Yonah, will also provide users with better performance while multi-tasking, Kressin said.

"There are no compromises," Kressin said. "Everything is better with Napa."

Napa is comprised of Yonah, a new mobile chipset and a new wireless connection, all developed in parallel, Kressin said.

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