When Intel dissolved its research partnership with Nokia in February, many assumed it was simply a setback - that at some point 3G would still find its way into the Centrino specification on a permanent basis.
Not so, it seems. Intel has confirmed that it won't be including the specification in Centrino Pro (Santa Rosa) as originally slated, or probably in any subsequent revision of the platform.
Intel has decided that the core of business people who want 3G access are better left to the networks who subsidise or charge for existing 3G card solutions. Notebook vendors such as Dell also offer optional integrated 3G solution in partnership with specific networks - Dell with Vodafone, for example.
Speaking to ZDNet Australia , Mooly Eden, manager of Intel's Mobile Platforms Group, confirmed that WiMAX is the future - for Intel, at least.
"You're not going to get a 3G solution from Intel," Eden said. "There are 3G solutions from third parties, but if you look at 3G adoption it's still a one digit attach rate. We are going to focus on WiMAX, which we believe will be a more pervasive solution."
Eden also claimed the decision to abandon the Nokia project was "nothing to be proud of", but that it didn't make "sense" financially.
Intel is now planning on introducing WiMAX to Centrino laptops in 2008 via it's Echo Peak-codenamed card which will also handle Wi-Fi and will probably extend the Pro line of Centrino laptops. As we reported yesterday, next year's Centrino platform is codenamed Montevina .
It'll feature 45nm Penryn chips, but will have a new chipset, currently codenamed Cantiga. This'll support DDR3 memory as well as have integrated DirectX 10 graphics.