New Centrino Tech Headed for Desktops, Too

May 11, 2007

Part of the significance of Intel's new mobile platform is that it will also allow manufacturers to design newer, more powerful, smaller form factor desktop PCs as well.

Intel has long expressed interest in developing products for a broad range of computing devices. While the new Centrino Duo and Pro will be primarily used for notebooks, Claudine Mangano, an Intel spokeswoman, confirmed that aspects of the next-generation mobile technology will also find their way into smaller, cooler, and quieter desktops very soon.

"…These new desktop systems will not brand or use 'Centrino Duo' per se, but [use] a combination of the new mobile technologies," Mangano said, such as the processor, chipset, and other optional components.

"In addition to using the Intel Core 2 Duo processor and - the - Mobile Intel GM965 Express Chipset for better graphics, the desktop PCs will bring options for 802.11n wireless support, Intel Viiv processor technology, and Intel Turbo Memory," Mangano added.

She said that while the actual implementation will be dependant on the OEM/ODM specifications for their respective system builds, a number of new consumer desktops designs are already underway.

According to Intel, AOpen's new Mini PC Duo uses aspects of its new mobile technology, as do a host of other small form factor desktop PCs from companies like MetalWare, Niveus Media, MSI, and Pelham Sloane.

The system prices will vary based on configuration, but Intel said that most will start around the $1,000 mark. "Over the coming months, you'll also see a number of new designs from other top manufacturers," Mangano said.

It's all part of a paradigm shift from static hardware to mobility in the PC industry, according to IDC analyst, Richard Shim. "It's a very telling tale of the times," he said, referring to what's now known as mobile on desktop movement (MoDT) - or what some IDC analysts call "mobile attrition."

"Back in the day, it was desktop parts used in mobile platforms," Shim explained. "That was in order to get to certain price points."

But as the world shifts to mobility, the industry is now seeing the dominance of notebooks, Shim said. Because manufacturers are getting into thinner and thinner designs and having to deal with thermal issues, using mobile technology in desktop PCs is beginning to make more and more sense - especially when one considers today's favorable price points.

"Today, in the desktop world, you need more flexibility in style and in design. A notebook processor gives you that flexibility," Shim said.

And while IDC says the small form factor desktop market is still relatively small, Shim said that could very well change in the future, especially when one considers Apple's success with its mini and iMac lines.

"Why did Apple shift to Intel in the first place? They wanted a smaller processor to fit into the designs they already had. Basically, they needed more headroom than they had with Power PC processors," Shim said.

For it's own part, Apple is expected to refresh its Macbook Pro line with Intel's 'Santa Rosa' platform as early as next month. And with newer, possibly redesigned versions of its mini and iMac lines, the company could very well be using aspects of Intel's new mobile technology as well. Apple did not return calls for comment.

Copyright 2007 by Ziff Davis Media, Distributed by United Press International

Explore further: With silicon pushed to its limits, what will power the next electronics revolution?

Related Stories

Intel launches chip for tablet computers

April 11, 2011

Intel Corp. has launched a new chip for tablet computers, Atom processor Z670 based platform, as the world's most powerful semiconductor company aims to become a contender in the market for mobile chips.

Intel begins shipping new Atom processors

December 29, 2011

Intel today announced the availability of the latest mobile Intel Atom processor-based platform, formerly codenamed "Cedar Trail." Designed to provide small, compact, on-the-go computing with great battery life at an affordable ...

Intel First With 65nm NOR Flash Memory Chips

April 4, 2006

Intel Corporation is the first to sample NOR multi-level cell flash memory chips at 1-gigabit density using its advanced 65-nanometer (nm) process technology. Intel’s NOR Flash memory chips are used in devices such as cell ...

Recommended for you

Glider pilots aim for the stratosphere

November 20, 2015

Talk about serendipity. Einar Enevoldson was strolling past a scientist's office in 1991 when he noticed a freshly printed image tacked to the wall. He was thunderstruck; it showed faint particles in the sky that proved something ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.