Today is the day Intel officially takes the wraps off of its updated version of the Centrino platform, code-named Sonoma. Sonoma combines the features of the 900-series desktop core logic chipsets with the new "Dothan" Pentium M processor and an updated 802.11a/b/g wireless networking solution. The new chipset, code-named Alviso, brings PCI Express, dual-channel DDR2 memory support, High Definition Audio, better SATA support, and a 533MHz front-side bus to mobile platforms. The north bridge chip also includes Intel's GMA900 integrated graphics solution, with basic support for DirectX 9-class 3D graphics. The "Dothan" Pentium M has been showing up in laptops for a little while now. It's a die-shrunk version of the original Pentium M, now produced at 90nm with a 2MB L2 cache. All told, Sonoma should be a big step forward for mobile PCs.
From what we've heard, laptop makers have been pushing for Intel to launch Sonoma for some time now, because they've had systems ready to roll. Intel, however, took its time delivering the chips.
Adrian's Rojak Pot has a nice write-up on Sonoma, including performance tests for a pair of Sonoma-based laptops. Proper comparative testing of solutions in laptops is notoriously difficult, but the write-up does offer a sense of what Sonoma's all about.
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