Intel Corp. is expected to garner a round of OEM endorsements for its Centrino mobile platform when it is rolled out next week. But dont look for notebook supporters to eschew alternative processing and connectivity for all their new designs just yet.
While Fujitsu PC Corp. will be on hand at the Centrino launch to unveil a version of its LifeBook S Series notebook, the company plans to ship a version featuring Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s competing Athlon XP-M mobile chip first.
“I am a firm believer that being tied to one vendor is not good,” Fujitsu PC President and CEO Toshio Morohoshi said in an interview last week with eWeek.
Fujitsu PC plans to release the AMD-based S Series midmonth. The San Jose, Calif., company will then ship a version with Centrino, which includes Intels Pentium-M chip and an accompanying chip set and a Wi-Fi WLAN (wireless LAN) connectivity module, next month.
Fujitsu PC is not the only one with multiple irons in the fire. While most major notebook vendors plan to support Centrino, some, including IBM, will also offer alternative systems that include a Pentium-M but use WLAN technology from Atheros Communications Inc. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company makes a chip set that supports 802.11b and the faster 802.11a.
“Most vendors will have a pure Centrino just to have one,” said Ken Dulaney, an analyst with Gartner Inc., also in San Jose. “The major OEMs will likely offer Centrino, but for 802.11a/b, [they] will offer Atheros. Centrino is not a lock in all areas.”