New Intel “Sonoma” Chip to be Announced

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New Intel “Sonoma” Chip to be Announced

Editors Note: It is a safe bet that this hot new update to the already popular Centrino hardware will really make a bang in Tablet PC models to come.  Thank you to Andrew Baxter for the following story:

Intel will be announcing its latest Pentium M Centrino platform, dubbed “Sonoma”, on January 19 in San Francisco.  The new Pentium M chips will feature a faster 533MHz FSB (Front Side Bus) speed, support for the new PCI-Express standard, support for fast DDR2 (Double Data Rate 2) memory, improved graphics performance, a new Intel 2915ABG networking card and chip speeds of up to 2.13GHz.  Manufacturers such as Dell, Toshiba, HP, IBM, Sony and Asus will be announcing new notebooks that will carry the newest Intel Pentium M chip.  All in all there should be about 80 new notebooks announced that will carry this latest generation of Intel Penium M chips.  These notebooks should start shipping in January and February.

The new chipset being included with this Sonoma platform is dubbed “Alviso” and will include a 533MHz frontside bus, which means that the processor will be able to communicate with other components of the chip set much faster than a processor does in the current crop of 400MHz frontside bus systems.

The Sonoma line of chips focuses on improving performance rather than battery life, so performance of this latest round of chips will outdo the older generation, but power consumption and therefore battery life of notebooks using this chip will remain the same.

Sam Bhavnani, senior analyst with Current Analysis, says that the new frontside bus and larger on-chip cache included with the Intel Sonoma will give graphics performance a big boost. “You’re going to start seeing a physical difference between a notebook that was released a year ago and notebooks that are released on the Sonoma platform.”

In addition to the better graphics performance, Sonoma systems will include new wireless networking software called Intel PRO/Set and new High Definition Audio technology, all of which were developed with the consumer market in mind, Intel’s Grimes says. “People will be using this a lot more as a home entertainment device.  You’ll see a lot more diversity in the systems now.”

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