Intel shows off new technologies
- By John K. Waters
Intel Corp. gave attendees at its semi-annual developer
conference an advance look at a number of nascent technologies and initiatives
with a cacophony of code names. The chipsets, some recently unveiled and most
still under development, extend Intel technology further into wireless and
consumer devices as company officials have promised for some time.
The new technologies cited by Intel officials include:
* Manitoba: Released this month, Intel officials say this
processor epitomizes the company's ''convergence'' message. Manitoba combines a
312MHz processor and 4MB of flash memory with digital signal processing (DSP)
technology. That combination should allow developers to create mobile phones
that are more powerful, smaller and less power hungry, according to Intel
general manager and mobile-technology maven Anand Chandrasekher.
* Newport: Intel calls this a ''next-generation mobile
solution for knowledge workers.'' The 4.5-pound Newport notebook device includes
a detachable 2.4-pound tablet and a mobile phone-like LCD screen. The smaller
''quick-view'' screen would allow ''closed lid computing'' -- simple tasks, such
as e-mail, instant messaging and calendar functions, could literally be
performed without opening the laptop's lid. Both
components carry their own batteries, which extend battery life to about six
hours. Intel chief Craig Barrett showcased the technology during his opening
* Centrino: High-speed mobile processing technology for
laptop PCs. Formerly known as ''Banias,'' it offers speeds of up to 1.6 GHz.
Centrino includes an Intel Pentium M processor, an Intel 855 chipset and an
Intel Pro/Wireless 2100 network connection. Intel says that it will be one of
the first 90-nannometer processors. The firm's Chandrasekher said during his
conference keynote that it would also deliver longer battery life than the older processors.
Centrino is being adopted by about a dozen manufacturers and is expected to
officially debut on March 12 at an event in New York.
* Prescott: Based on the same basic NetBurst architecture
as the Pentium 4, Prescott will come with numerous improvements, according to
Louis Burns, VP of Intel's desktop platforms group. Among its new features, the
processor will come with 1MB of cache -- that's twice the cache of current P-4s
-- as well as 13 new instructions, an enhanced version of hyperthreading and an
* Canterwood: A chipset designed for entertainment
devices that will support hyperthreading and have new features such as
dual-channel DDR400 memory support, a fast 800MHz system bus, AGP8X and internal
* Springdale: A chipset featuring the same graphics,
memory and soft RAID as Canterwood, but with a new architecture designed to
Ethernet networking performance and Intel Stable Driver
* Marble Falls: A new desktop processor designed to
support fast PCI Express cards and USB 2.0 (which is 10 times faster than
standard USB), as well as dual monitor configurations for video editing and
other applications. According to Burns, ''Marble Falls'' will also feature 3GIO
high-speed connection technology.
* Tejas: Prescott's successor, code-named ''Tejas'' is
due in 2004. Few details were available on this technology during the show, but
Intel officials said that it will include PCI Express Graphics, DDR400 memory, enhanced security, and systems that will run
cooler and quieter than the
current crop of desktop CPUs.
* Azalia: A future audio processor about which Intel
officials would only offer hints. They did said that it would in some way
enhance the company's
Digital Home initiative.
* Granite Peak: A new program, announced at the show,
through which Intel proposes to ensure that its chipsets will be compatible with
leading-edge desktop and mobile microprocessors for six quarters.
* Powersville: Another concept platform, ''Powersville''
showcases advanced levels of Digital Home technologies, such as wireless
streaming video and personal video recording. Intel believes this kind of technology will be part and parcel of PCs beginning
sometime in 2004.
* Statesboro: Another Digital Home technology.
''Statesboro'' is a reference platform designed to assist original equipment
manufacturers and motherboard makers in the development of PC systems that
broadcast digital photos and music to TVs and stereos throughout a user's home.
Statesboro is a ''complete, validated system solution'' that includes such
technologies as Intel 3.06GHz Pentium 4 Processor with Hyper-Threading
Technology 1, the ''Springdale'' chipset, Dualband 802.11 Wireless NIC, Serial
ATA Hard Disk Drive, Dual Channel DDR Memory and a DVD/CD-RW Optical Disk
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached