Intel looks to next generation of mobile devices

Intel is looking ahead to the next generation of mobile chips to follow Centrino and Manitoba.

Intel is looking ahead to the next generation of mobile chips to follow Centrino and Manitoba.

Sonoma will be released in the second half of 2004 with a dual-band wireless chip and a chipset, codenamed Alviso. The platform will use a future Pentium M processor, but Intel declined to specify if it would be Dothan, the company's 90-nanometer version of the Pentium M, or a chip beyond that release.

Dothan will be released later this year with a 2Mbyte cache.

The Sonoma platform will include new audio technology, known as Azalia, which aims to improve the sound quality of music, films, and games on notebooks,.

Notebook designers who do not want to wait for Sonoma can start shipping systems with Intel's 855GME chipset, which features Intel Display Power Saving Technology, which allows the system to dim the screen's backlight while maintaining the image brightness and quality on the screen.

From next year, mobile-phone manufacturers will be able to use Bulverde, Intel's codename for the next generation of XScale technology. The chips will incorporate three new technologies that improve graphics performance and reduce battery life, said Ron Smith, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's wireless communications and computing group.

Intel will take the MMX (multimedia extensions) technology which improved graphics performance in its Pentium 4 processors and bring that to Bulverde processors.

The new processors will incorporate Wireless SpeedStep, a mobile technology which varies the power consumed by a chip depending on the requirements of a particular task. This is a common technique used by notebook processors, and will help extend battery life in mobile phones and other handhelds.

For mobile phones with cameras, Intel developed Quick Capture technology for upcoming processors, which will allow phones to take up to four-megapixel images and capture moving video.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service

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