Outlook 2007: Mobility

By Anne Chen  |  Posted 12-11-2006

In the world of mobility, hardware vendors in 2006 took advantage of multicore processors to introduce improvements in performance and battery life to laptops.

Provided vendors can quickly get past setbacks dealt by exploding batteries, eWEEK Labs anticipates in 2007 that the debut of Intel's latest mobile platform as well as device-level support for wireless technologies will make it even easier for users to stay connected via mobile devices.

Intel's next Centrino mobile platform, Centrino Pro, is expected sometime in the first half of 2007. Code-named Santa Rosa, Centrino Pro will be a combination of the 64-bit Merom Core 2 Duo processor and a new graphics chip set code-named Crestline. The platform promises to deliver an 800MHz front-side bus and 4MB Level 2 cache.

In addition to increased battery life and processing power, Centrino Pro will introduce 802.11n wireless networking capabilities to Intel's mobile platform. While the chip maker has in the past waited for wireless specifications to become standard, it has announced that it will not delay Centrino Pro until 802.11n becomes a standard and will instead release a draft-ready chip.

Along with the introduction of 802.11n wireless to mobile devices, the coming year promises increased support for wireless broadband. Intel has also announced that it will integrate HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) wireless technology into the Centrino Pro platform. HSDPA is an asymmetric data transmission technique that delivers a capacity of 2M bps to 3M bps that is expected to eventually increase to 14.4 M bps. Its inclusion in the Centrino Pro platform will eliminate the need for IT managers to purchase separate HSDPA cards for users' laptops beginning in 2007.

Read the full story on eWeek: Outlook 2007: Mobility .