Next-generation Centrino imminent

Intel is to launch its draft-802.11n wireless chipset on Tuesday as part of a new version of its Centrino notebook platform.

The new platform will bring even better battery life and connectivity options as well as Robson, a new Flash-memory technology which allows quicker booting of often used applications.

This will be the fourth generation of Centrino, codenamed Santa Rosa. It was originally due to debut before the second half of the year. However, the silicon gained FCC approval back in November so we think products featuring the new platform will happen sooner, possibly in the coming weeks.

After all, draft-802.11n-sporting notebooks were on display at Intel's CES stand in Las Vegas.

There could be a new Centrino logo to go with Santa Rosa - take a look at our CES snaps. 'Centrino Pro' branding has also been much mooted. With earlier versions, Intel has stuck with the same branding - just adding the word 'Duo' for last year's Napa platform, for example.

Santa Rosa succeeds the Napa mobile platform and uses the mobile 965 Crestline chipset.

It's previously been speculated that Santa Rosa will have input from Nokia to provide HSPDA services which will be integrated into the platform. 802.16e Mobile WiMAX will also probably make it later in the platform's lifespan.

It's expected that there will be new Core 2 Duo chips to go with the announcement. It's also anticipated that Intel will talk up the 45nm process on Tuesday - this will bring quad core to the notebook.

Here's the full feature list of Santa Rosa's component features, with codenames in brackets:

  • Socket P Intel Core 2 processor (Merom)
  • Intel Mobile 965 Express chipset (Crestline) with Intel's GMA X3000 graphics technology
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 4965AGN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n mini-PCIe Wi-Fi adapter (Kedron)
  • NAND flash-memory caching technology (Robson)
  • EFI, a technology designed as the successor to the BIOS

Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.