Intel shows off new technologies

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 conference keynote.

* 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 800MHz bus.

* 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 support for Serial ATA/RAID.

* Springdale: A chipset featuring the same graphics, memory and soft RAID as Canterwood, but with a new architecture designed to increase Gigabit 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 its 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 Drive.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at


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