Centrino Makes Splash in N.Y.

Intel's CEO Craig Barrett claims "people are ready" for the mobile platform.

NEW YORK—The core of Intel Corp.s Centrino mobile platform was the direct result of a convergence of communications and computing, according to company CEO Craig Barrett, a company mantra for the past couple of years.

To accomplish the development, Intel worked closely with networking partners, service providers and software developers to create an ecosystem that will make wireless computing ubiquitous, Barrett said Wednesday here speaking at the U.S. launch of the platform.

"The exciting thing is, I think people are ready for this technology," Barrett said. "People want to use their computers anywhere at anytime in any configuration. ... There is a groundswell of desire, there is a need and there is a coming together in the industry to provide this.

"This is really, after 20 years of talking about it the most tangible evidence of [the convergence] of computing and communications," he said.

That desire is illustrated by the growth of notebook sales at the expense of desktop PC sales, Barrett said.

Centrino is a package that includes the Pentium-M chip, formerly known as Banias, the accompanying 855 chipset family and a Wi-Fi module, the Pro/Wireless 2100 Network Connection.

The Pentium-M comes in four speeds, 1.3GHz, 1.4GHz, 1.5GHz and 1.6GHz, with prices ranging from $292 to $720, per 1,000 units. There also is a low voltage processor at 1.1GHz and an ultra-low-voltage chip at 900MHz. The chips have a new architecture that offers lower power consumption and longer battery life than Intels current top mobile chips, the Pentium III-M and Pentium 4-M.