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Reports: Some Intel Centrinos Out, But Consumer Future Bright

Amidst a wholesale reshuffling and discontinuance of some processors, Intel on Monday will unveil three devices aimed at driving its Centrino product line into consumer markets. At the same time, it will unveil its new processor-labeling scheme.

The designations will be different, in that they will eschew processor clock speeds. The top-of-the line Pentium Model 750 will have the fastest clock speed -- 2GHz. The Model 745 will run at 1.8GHz and the Model 735 at 1.7GHz.

"The Centrino will be for consumers," said Nathan Brookwood of Insight64 in an interview, "in the same way the Centrino created excitement last year when it was sold to business users in IT departments." Underlining the sea-change of the Centrino line will be the consumer-oriented retailers participating in the announcement Monday--Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, and Office Depot are all lined up.

The entire line falls under Intel's Dothan family, which has been plagued by manufacturing delays, as the semiconductor colossus shifts from a 130nm manufacturing process to 90nm. "We take it for granted that Intel will introduce improvements," said Brookwood. "Power consumption and heat dissipation will be down, and performance will be up in the new models."

In another development, the Reuters news agency said Intel on Friday will announce a realignment of some of its future desktop and server processors. Marked for removal from its lineup is its fourth-generation Pentium 4 "Tejas" chip. Another device utilizing a similar architecture--the "Jayhawk" process in the Xeon family--is likewise slated for cancellation, Reuters said, adding that engineers working on the chips will be reassigned.

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