January 20, 2005, Updated September 14, 2012

Intel has sold more than $5 billion worth of its Centrino chipsets since they were introduced in March 2003.Conceived and developed by their Israeli R&D center, a new, upgraded version of the Centrino chipset has been unveiled by Intel – the world’s largest maker of computer chips. The product features faster processing, greater security and new graphics and audio capabilities

Intel Mobile Platforms Group VP and general manager David (Dadi) Perlmutter told Globes that dozens of development staff in the company’s Haifa headquarters worked on upgrading the Dotan processor, and 150 to 200 people worked on the Wi-Fi port. Hundreds more worked on the other components of the Centrino kit. Intel’s Israeli operations, which include four design centers and a manufacturing facility, lead Intel’s R&D for wireless technology.

In a nod to the importance Intel Israel plays in the company’s overall success, Perlmutter is about to become one of the top five people in the company’s global structure, as part of the company’s reorganization.

Perlmutter, 51, is going to head the mobility group, which will be devoted to mobile computing technology. Perlmutter had previously headed Intel’s mobile platforms division, which employs 5,000 people worldwide. The mobility group will be responsible for portable and handheld technology, as well as Intel’s cell phone ventures.

It was Perlmutter who suggested that Intel develop chips especially for mobile computers, that would have low energy requirements and enable wireless linkup. The result was the Centrino suite of products, which were developed under the code name Banias (a stream in northern Israel).

Intel has sold more than $5 billion worth of its Centrino chipsets since they were introduced in March 2003. The technology, designed for laptop computers, came with enhanced wireless Internet connectivity that helped push the WiFi standard to the top of the industry agenda, as well as longer battery life.

Intel forecast that the new Centrino chipset would be available on more than 150 different computer models by year’s end. Computer maker Dell has already begun advertising new laptops equipped with the new technology.

The new package mainly comprises improvements in the wireless connection, and in graphics and sound capabilities. The Haifa development center handled the improvements in the processor and the wireless connection.

The Centrino kit is a brand that includes three components designed for mobile computers: a Pentium processor, chipset, and a Wi-Fi wireless communications component for Internet access. Centrino was launched in early 2003 with Banias processors, and was upgraded with Dotan processors in early 2004. The latest improvements are a qualitative jump, that turn it into an improved Centrino kit.

Intel’s next major endeavor, a chipset to support the more advanced WiMax standard for wireless Internet, is also being spearheaded here. That technology is expected to be released some time next year.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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