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Intel Corp. on Wednesday formally ushered in the "Santa Rosa" upgrade to its Centrino notebook platform, offering faster Core 2 Duo processors and chipsets, improved graphics, stronger wireless signals, better battery life, and an option to turbo-speed boot time and software application loading.
Santa Rosa notebooks are expected to emerge in a plethora of shapes and sizes, with designs ranging from fully loaded, 17-inch wide-screen models ideal for entertainment to tiny, energy-saving notebook PCs that weigh less than three pounds.
"When we introduced Intel Centrino 4 years ago, Intel changed the computing landscape with our mobile innovations," said Mooly Eden, Intel vice president and general manager, Mobile Products Group. "Now, simply said, we have improved virtually all aspects of Intel-based notebooks, the most popular and fastest growing computing market segment in the world."
At the heart of the new Intel Centrino Duo and Intel Centrino Pro processor technology-based notebooks is the next-generation of Intel's highly acclaimed Intel Core 2 Duo processor, which delivers enhanced mobile performance and responsiveness for demanding business users and consumers alike.
Users will experience improved performance when running multiple applications simultaneously such as downloading a video clip while doing a virus scan, Intel said.
In addition, the Santa Clara-based chipmaker said its new Mobile Intel 965 Express chipset family with Intel Clear Video Technology will enable an enhanced high-definition video experience for Santa Rosa notebook owners. Users will be able to share their content with family and friends via TV easier than before with Intel TV Wizard, which is a simplified way to connect to HD-enabled TVs.
In order to download or upload digital content faster from the Internet, the available Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N will provide 802.11AGN WLAN capability and allows users more freedom to do more, delivering up to five times the performance for such tasks as downloads and twice the wireless access range, Intel claims.
Meanwhile, Turbo Memory is an optional feature, unique to Intel technology, that can access frequently used software applications twice as fast and reduce the amount of time it takes to turn on, or boot-up, a laptop by as much as 20 percent. In turn, this NAND flash-enabled feature lets users save on power consumption and increase battery life.
Intel said it expects hundreds of notebook models in a range of prices to be widely available beginning today.
For its part, Apple's first notebook design to incorporate Santa Rosa features should arrive in the form of an update to its 15-inch MacBook Pro during the second quarter of the year, which should pack a faster 800MHz frontside bus and second generation Core 2 Duo mobile processors ranging up to 2.4GHz with 4MB of L2 cache.
AppleInsider was first to report on the MacBook Pro update in an exclusive report this past January. In the report, it was also noted that the mainstream Apple notebook would be the first of the company's machines to adopt an LED-backlit display — a claim that was recently corroborated by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs.