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Intel Centrino Duo & Pro Technology Report
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Santa Rosa Is Out!

Whoopee!!!!! Intel has just launched the long-awaited Santa Rosa mobile platform! Ever since the Core 2 Duo mobile processor (codenamed Merom) was launched, we have been eagerly waiting for the accompanying Santa Rosa platform to debut. As impressive as the Core 2 Duo mobile processor was, it felt incomplete without a new platform to support it.

Well, that wait is over for Intel today launched two new Santa Rosa platforms - the Centrino Duo and the Centrino Pro platforms. Some vendors are already shipping their new Santa Rosa-based notebooks while others will have their notebooks out in the market by first week of June, 2007. So, this is not a shadow launch. Santa Rosa really is HERE!

Let's take a look and see what different and exciting about these two new mobile platforms.


Centrino Duo

The new Santa Rosa mainstream mobile platform will continue to use the Intel Centrino Duo brand name, replacing the Napa platform which was released in 2006. So, there will be some confusion as to which notebook has the latest Santa Rosa technology and which is still based on the older Napa platform. Good luck trying to get the correct information from your local retailers. Some still cannot explain the difference between a platform brand (e.g. Centrino) and a processor (e.g. Core 2 Duo).

Perhaps that's the effect Intel marketing is looking for. Why bother about such details? All you need to know is that it's an Intel Centrino notebook and that's what you should buy!

For those who are more fussy about they buy, the new Centrino Duo platform is based on a new Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset and new Core 2 Duo models to pair with. The new chipset has new features like support for a 800MHz front side bus (FSB), a better graphics core and optional support for new wireless-N connectivity and Intel Turbo Memory.


Centrino Pro

The second mobile platform, dubbed Centrino Pro, is targeted at businesses. It's essentially the new Centrino Duo platform with an extra Intel Active Management chip. What this chip does is allow remote management and enhanced security features, even without an operating system.

Although it has many cool features, most of them would really apply to large organizations that need to centrally manage their IT resources to reduce downtime and improve productivity.



Duo Versus Pro

Do note that Centrino Duo and Centrino Pro are really nothing more than Intel brand names. For notebooks to qualify for Centrino Duo or Centrino Pro branding (and associated marketing benefits), they have to include certain Intel components. Let's take a look at what's necessary to qualify for the Centrino Duo and Centrino Pro branding and what's optional.

Intel Centrino Duo
Intel Centrino Pro
Required • Intel Core 2 Duo processor
• Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset
• Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AG module
  (if 4965AGN is not selected)
• Intel 82566MM Gigabit Network connection
• Intel Core 2 Duo processor
• Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset
• Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AG module
  (if 4965AGN is not selected)
• Intel 82566MM Gigabit Network connection
• Intel Active Management Technology
Optional • Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN module
• Intel Turbo Memory module
• Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN module
• Intel Turbo Memory module

To qualify for either Centrino brand name, the notebook must have everything in the Required list. The only exception is the WiFi module. The notebook manufacturer can opt between the cheaper 4965AG module and the newer 4965AGN module.

Left : Centrino Duo platform components

Right : Centrino Pro platform components

Now, let's take a closer look at the new technologies and features that both these new platforms boast.

Next Page : New Intel Core 2 Duo Processors >>>


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