IDF - Laptop vendors to offer Centrino with WiMax next year

Several laptop vendors announced plans to offer support for WiMax next year.

Several laptop vendors plan to announce support for an upcoming version of Intel's Centrino platform that uses WiMax wide-area networking technology -- but Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Apple are not expected to be among them.

Asustek Computer, Acer, Lenovo Group, Toshiba and Matsushita Electric Industrial, which sells laptops under the Panasonic brand, all plan to use the coming version of Centrino, called Montevina, that supports WiMax, Intel said in a statement. Centrino Duo laptops with WiMax will be available from these vendors in 2008, it said.

The vendors are expected to announce their support this week during a scheduled keynote speech by Dadi Perlmutter senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Mobility Group, at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

HP and Dell, the world's top two laptop vendors, are not among the companies that plan to voice support for Centrino for WiMax. But the expected absence of these companies doesn't necessarily mean they don't plan to sell Centrino laptops with WiMax. For example, it could simply mean they have not yet reached an agreement with Intel to make the technology available in their products.

Also absent from Wednesday's planned announcement is Apple, which typically holds its future product plans close to its chest, rarely offering a look at its long-range plans.

Montevina is set for release during the middle of 2008 and will replace the current version of Centrino, called Santa Rosa, in Intel's product lineup. Montevina will include a dual-core mobile Penryn processor made using a 45-nanometer process, a chipset, and the option of using Echo Peak, the code name of a wireless module that includes support for both Wi-Fi and WiMax.

The chip package will also be available in a version without Echo Peak, offering support for only Wi-Fi.

Montevina will also include hardware support for HD-DVD and Blu-ray high-definition disc formats, compatibility with faster DDR3 (Double Data Rate 3) memory, as well as new management and security features designed for corporate users, Intel said.

The package will be available for a range of laptop designs, including subnotebooks to high-end laptops, Intel said.

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