Intel Outlines Client Product Roadmap

By Michael Singer

February 19, 2003

UPDATE: The convergence platform expands with Centrino and XScale with hints of the future with next generation Prescott (Canterwood, Springdale), Azalia and Tejas chips.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Intel served up a taste of its digital future with several announcements focused on client products.

Building on CEO Craig Barrett's theme of convergence between its semiconductors and communication devices, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based firm said it is focused mostly on four things that its customers say they want - improved battery life, connectivity, high performance, and sleek designs.

"You have a tremendous opportunity to take the emerging personal device - and it is not that far away for the billions of people that are using technology. The architectural landscape shaping now and you can innovate, excite and delight based on Intel PCA," Intel Wireless Computing and Communications Group vice president and general manager of Intel's PCA Components Group Gadi Singer said to developers at the Intel Developer Forum here.

The company gave several demonstrations including its new Centrino mobile technology for laptop PCs. Formerly known as Banias, the technology is being adopted by about a dozen manufacturers and is expected to officially debut on March 12 at an event in New York.

Intel Communications Fund already has invested $25 million in more than 15 wireless networking companies in order to help accelerate wireless network deployment worldwide. Intel also is working with hotel chains, telecommunications service providers and retail outlets and conducting extensive verification of public Wi-Fi network access points, commonly called hotspots, for use with Intel Centrino mobile technology. The company expects several thousand hotspots will be verified by year-end.

At speeds up to 1.6 GHz. Intel Centrino mobile technology includes an Intel Pentium M processor, an Intel 855 chipset and an Intel Pro/Wireless 2100 network connection. The company Wednesday said it has inked a multi-million dollar deal with Check Point Software to provide embedded security for the chipset.

Intel said its second-generation Centrino will be one of its first processors manufactured on 90-nannometer (nm) technology. The heir apparent to Pentium chips -- Prescott -- will be the other. Both are expected in the second half of this year.

Prescott will feature enhancements to Intel's Hyper-Threading Technology and the Intel NetBurst microarchitecture. In addition, the chips will include an 800 MHz front side bus and a 1 MB L2 cache. Intel said chip will also incorporate 13 additional instructions, which are undetermined at this time.

Under the Prescott family are two chipsets, Canterwood for entertainment devices and its more enterprise-focused Springdale.

The Canterwood chipset will support Hyper-Threading Technology and have new features such as dual channel DDR400 memory support, a fast 800 MHz system bus, AGP8X and internal support for Serial ATA/RAID.

Springdale features the same graphics, memory and soft RAID as well as a new architecture designed to increase Gigabit Ethernet networking performance and Intel Stable Driver Technology.

Intel also announced a new program called Granite Peak where Intel chipsets will be compatible with Intel's leading-edge desktop and mobile microprocessors for six quarters.

"The benefit is that this is one less thing that our customers have to worry about," said Intel vice president and Desktop Platforms Group co-manager Louis Burns. "They want to focus on saving money for their businesses, they don't want to have to worry about image processing."

Just beyond Prescott is Intel's upcoming 2004 processor currently code-named Tejas. The company was shy on details except to say that it will include PCI Express Graphics, DDR400 memory, enhanced security and systems to run cool and quieter than current desktop CPUs.

"Let's just say that the performance should be north of 30 percent over previous versions," said Burns.

The company also hinted at a future audio processor code-named Azalia, which it says will enhance its Intel Digital Home initiative.

Intel also outlined plans for upcoming desktop chipsets, while highlighting several products based on Intel XScale technology.

"The past week marked several significant milestones for us," said Singer. "We introduced a cellular processor (PXA 800F or Manitoba) that combines advanced processing, leading communications technologies and flash memory into a single chip, announced several new design wins, and unveiled industry-enabling efforts with several wireless carriers."

In addition, top phone makers, including Maxon Telecom, MiTAC International and Hitachi have selected Intel processors based on the Intel XScale technology for upcoming data-enabled cell phones.

Earlier this week, Intel and Microsoft announced the immediate availability of the Intel PXA262 cellular phone reference design running the Windows Smartphone operating system and featuring Intel XScale technology and integrated Intel On-Chip Flash memory that uses Intel's advanced MCP stacking technology.

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