Intel Sonomo improves wireless integration in mobile devices

Together with the explosive worldwide growth in WLAN hotspots, the unveiling of Intel’s second-generation mobile technology platform in January 2005 is expected to lead to the completion of the notebook PC’s transition from a portable to a wireless device, fuelled by the introduction of the Centrino brand two years earlier. Predictions are that the number of frequent WLAN hotspot users will have increased from less than 1 million in 2002 to over 30 million by 2006. Sonoma improves on each of Centrino’s key mobile technologies, comprising: the i915 Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH) the IO Controller Hub (ICH) 6-M, and the Intel PRO/Wireless 2915 a/b/g Network Interface Controller (NIC) a number of new Pentium M processors. The centrepiece of the Sonoma package is the 915 Express chipset, formerly codenamed Alviso, which provides the support for several new technologies expected to provide a foundation for notebook PCs for the next decade: mobile PCI Express (PCIe) and ExpressCard technology Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) interface PCIe External Graphics (PEG) interface Double Data Rate (DDR) memory, and Intel High Definition (HD) Audio. The new platform delivers both on CPU and graphics performance through scaling in core and bus frequencies as well as with microarchitecture enhancements including doubling processor cache size. The graphics performance improves by 2x over the previous generation platform. GMCH enables an enriched media experience through incorporation of Intel HD Audio and higher-speed interfaces. The PCIe Mini Card replaces the Mini PCI card, typically used on the mobile motherboard for build-to-order optional functions. The ExpressCard module is a new add-in card that replaces the CardBus PC Card. Both of...

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