Intel makes Centrino available in the channel

Intel’s latest chip isn’t so much a chip as it is a platform, says the company.

Centrino, code named Banias, is a package built around the Pentium M processor, the 855 chipset and the Intel Pro/Wireless network connection. It promises better performance, better battery life and it works in concert

with wireless components. Centrino also manages power to the point where it will turn the bus, memory and CPU on and off. It can also operate at different frequencies.

Doug Cooper, Intel Canada’s general manager, called Centrino “Magic for the channel.”

“When the channel is thinking about this brand they have to think differently. It is a platform, not a CPU. The channel will have fun selling this,” he said.

Intel Canada will initially focus on educating the channel about Centrino as a new mobile category.

“They are familiar with notebooks and wireless but not wireless connectivity with the normal life of the business worker. We will rely on the channel for this,” Cooper added.

Centrino-based notebooks will initially focus on the business worker and large to medium IT departments, Cooper said. Resellers should expect hefty margins, according to Cooper, if they are quick to communicate it to the market and help clients transition to Centrino from P4M and others.

Christina Paquet, Fujitsu Canada’s marketing manager for mobile computing products, said the combined Fujitsu-Centrino offering will not only appeal to mobile users looking for extended battery life, but also to corporate Canada, which believes strongly in having tested and validated mobile solutions.

“The slim and light mobile category bodes well with the Intel Centrino brand, and we predict greater numbers of these types of laptops in large wireless deployments. This translates into new incremental business for Fujitsu channel partners,” Paquet said.

Fujitsu released a Centrino-equipped LifeBook S6000 Series with integrated Wi-Fi wireless connectivity.

Terry Tomecek, general manager for Acer Canada, based in Mississauga, Ont., called Centrino “”the answer to all day computing for people out in the field.””

Intel’s Centrino can intelligently distribute power with its power-optimized CPU logic design. It uses the Pentium M processor, 855PM chipset and Pro/Wireless 2100 or 2100A network connection, Tomecek said.

Another avenue for Centrino will be the slow, but emerging whitebook market in Canada.

The company has also partnered with OEM design manufacturers Asus, Aopen, and FIC to help white box builders to start delivering white box notebooks, or whitebooks.

These companies will provide system builders with whitebook spindles. The system builder will add the CPU, memory and DVD or CD drive.

“The whitebook market has a lot more life than what we expected nine months ago. We see interest there and in companies establishing their

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