Intel forum focuses on mobile and wireless chips

Intel will reveal details of its new Pentium-M processor, the chip formerly known as Banias, and its Manitoba processor for...

Intel will reveal details of its Pentium-M processor, the chip formerly known as Banias, and its Manitoba processor for mobile phones, at its Intel Developer Forum (IDF) next week .

Keynote speeches from company executives will also highlight Intel's update to the Itanium 2, codenamed Madison.

Intel will advance the convergence theme of communications and computing devices that it has developed for a few years, said Pat Gelsinger, senior vice-president and chief technology officer.

It will also offer a look at some future applications being developed in the Intel labs, including location-aware technology and the impact of future technology on life sciences.

Intel is expected to provide more details on its shift to 90 nanometer process technologies. The first product scheduled to be manufactured in volume is Prescott, an updated version of the Pentium 4, whose release is expected in the second half of this year.

Intel chief executive officer Craig Barrett will give a keynote address providing a broad overview of Intel's vision at the show, which will provide details on Intel's new Centrino technology for notebook PCs, as well as Manitoba and Madison, Intel's successor to the Itanium 2 server processor.

The Pentium-M will be sold in conjunction with an 802.11b wireless chipset in a package branded Centrino. While the processor will also be available separately, Centrino will be Intel's first product marketed as a package, and its first product that enables wireless Internet connections. It will launch next month.

Manitoba is the result of a project to bring a processor together with a digital signal processor (DSP) and flash memory onto one chip. The integration of the DSP and the processor allows mobile phone makers to build smaller packages than possible with two-chip packages, but Intel is a relative latecomer to this market dominated by Motorola and Texas Instruments.

Server manufacturers will be able to plug the forthcoming Madison chip into the same motherboards used for the Itanium 2, because Intel was able to increase the frequency and on-die cache of the processor without changing the amount of power it requires. Madison will feature up to 6Mbytes of Level 3 cache, and run at 1.5GHz.

The second day of the show will focus on the desktop side of Intel's business, including its Springdale chipset. Springdale is expected to boost the performance of existing Pentium 4 processors and provide enough headroom for the Prescott Pentium 4 processor with an 800MHz front-side bus.

Company officials are also expected to discuss Intel's efforts in helping companies roll out stable software images across their networks as they upgrade their existing hardware.

Mike Fister, senior vice-president and general manager for the Intel enterprise platforms group, will discuss a low-power version of Madison known as Deerfield during his keynote address on the third day of the show. Deerfield is expected to be released at the end of the year. The road maps for Intel's 32-bit Xeon server chips will be updated.

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