The Centrino processor will enable the development of thinner, faster and lighter mobile computers.As the latest series of the Intel’s new series of mobile Centrino computer chips and products is unveiled in New York this week with great fanfare and an unprecedented $300 million advertising campaign, the team at the company’s R&D facility in Haifa will be looking on with a particular sense of pride.
The Centrino officially being unveiled March 12, is completely the brainchild of those who work at the company’s Haifa facility.
“Everything was done in Israel, from top to bottom,” said Intel Israel spokesman Koby Bahar. “All of the Centrino mobile technology and all the products, not just the chip, were developed in Israel.”
Bahar praised the Intel Israel team for its dedication to the project. “Several hundred engineers worked for three years to develop this,” he said.
During the chips’ development, utter secrecy was maintained. The code name for the project was “Banias” the name of a tributary to the Jordan River.
The new Centrino processors are being aggressively marketed around the world, including the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Australia and South Korea,and the global cost of advertising could surpass the budget Intel lavished on promoting its Pentium processors.
Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, has been operating in Israel since 1974, and has 5,200 employees at its four main development centers in
Jerusalem, Haifa, Kiryat Gat and Petah Tikva.
David Perlmutter, Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s Mobile Platform Group, told the financial daily Globes that one the most important advantages of the Centrino processor, compared with the performance of its
competitors in the mobile computer sector, was its low electricity consumption. Perlmutter added that the Centrino processor would enable the development of thinner, faster and lighter mobile computers.
The 3-gigahertz Centrino chips are expected to far outstrip rivals in speed with performance close to the latest Pentium 4, while using power sparingly. The new processor is Intel’s response to criticism of the Pentium 4, installed in laptops and notebooks, which suffered high energy consumption rates and were considered
Recently, Intel also officially revealed its PXA800F processor, code named “Manitoba”, which was partly developed in Israel, which is designed to grab a substantial share of the market for advanced cellular telephone
The Manitoba processor is intended for cellular telephones with multimedia capabilities similar to that of a PDA. Communications companies believe the customers’ ultimate ambition is to own a cellular telephone with voice, data communications, multimedia and agenda capabilities; in short, a cellular telephone which is also a PDA device.
Intel has already shown Manitoba-based examples to potential customers, and the company expects the first products with the processor will be launched in mid-2003. The processor is designed for mid and high-end products, i.e. multimedia-capable cellular telephones. Six Intel developments centers across the world participated in Manitoba’s development. Two of them have an Israeli connection: Petah Tikva, and Calgary, Alberta, in Canada, both of which were facilities of the Israeli DSPC company, acquired by Intel in 1999 for $1.6 billion.
According to Globes,” Intel’s Israeli development centers will also be setting the tone for future processors’ dual band capability. The Petah Tikva development center is developing processors for cellular networks, while the Haifa R&D center is developing processors for wireless networks. Collaboration by the two centers will lead in future, possibly even by next year, to a processor combining both cellular and wireless capability.
Already, the Haifa facility is developing the processor which will succeed the Centrino, codenamed “Dothan”.