Intel Stumped by “Sonoma”? Highest New Centrino Update Component is Dropped

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Intel Stumped by “Sonoma”? Highest New Centrino Update Component is Dropped

Users of Centrino-based Tablet PC’s and notebooks have both raved and complained about the last update of the popular mobile chipset solution by Intel. Sonoma has brought us some significant improvements from the last Centrino generation dubbed “Dothan”. The most notable improvements have been a jump from the 400MHz front side bus speed to 533MHz (increasing the rate at which data can travel), a brand new Intel 915 chipset which integrates a much better graphics solution and support for “802.11a” wireless capabilities.

With all the improvements though, users have shared two major complaints about the Sonoma platform – one actually being shorter battery life than its predecessor. Secondly, many Sonoma machines just simply get too damn hot. In the Tablet PC world hot = burning forearms.

Alright, who left their Sonoma-based Tablet on and left the house?

Perhaps these issues have been the reasoning behind Intel’s reorganized plans for the development of the third generation of Centrino technology codenamed “Napa”. Due to make its debut in 2006, the highest performing chipset in the last sequel of the Intel Centrino Episode III saga has been cancelled.

The dropped chipset 955XM, was to support up to a whopping 4GB of DDR 2 SDRAM. Instead of continuing work on the 955XM, Intel is upgrading the other two Napa chipsets, the 945PM and 945GM, to support 4GB of memory. Originally these were to support up to 2GB maximum RAM. So everybody will be happy to know – there is still much innovation in store for the future of computing and Intel’s chip/chipset offerings.

No matter what path is taken, let’s hope Intel remembers that to many mobile computer users (probably the majority), the most important issue is battery life and heat. We all like to be comfortable when we work right? Let’s hope that effort that is focused on developing a cooler and less power hungry chip first, then delve into the interest of increasing speed. 

For further information on the current status of “Napa”, check out the following links:





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