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Centrino Linux notebook reaches world

Big Blue pushes envelope
Sun Jun 13 2004, 07:41
FOR THOSE who have been waiting patiently for official (Tier 1) support for the Centrino chipset under Linux, help is finally on the way from Intel and IBM. Last week, IBM and Intel announced their first Linux-based and the latest mobile workstation offering. This pilot product project is designed to increase the productivity of engineers working in one of today's most demanding computing fields. In addition to Intel, engineers at National Semiconductor and IBM Microelectronics are using the IBM ThinkPad mobile workstation in pilot form.

According to IBM, engineers will be able to design and collaborate virtually anywhere while away from their offices with this new notebook. Intel developers are already using the solution in pilot form for engineering and product development functions, with plans for broader deployment starting in the second half of the year. Cadence, IBM and Intel representatives demonstrated the solution last week at the Design Automation Conference, an international meeting of electronics design professionals.

Adding official Linux support to the already popular ThinkPad T42p will provide durable, mobile workstations with superior graphics performance on a large 15-inch Flexview screen. This screen is viewable from 170 degrees. Another technology carryover from the ThinkPad T41 is IBM's "air bag technology" for protecting data on hard drives if the notebook is dropped.

The notebook supports the recently introduced Intel Pentium M processors 735, 745, and 755, offers higher speeds and 2MB of Level 2 cache. The increased cache boosts mobile computing performance by up to 17 per cent according to an Intel press release. Intel claims that the Pentium M 745 (1.8 GHz Dothan core) outperforms the older Pentium M 1.7 GHz (Banias core) by a whopping 56 per cent in its initial testing with Cadence's Virtuoso Spectre Circuit Simulator.

This overall improved performance, combined with the benefits of mobility, should allow for more significant productivity improvements in the field for engineers. Currently the ThinkPad T42p mobile workstation solution is available in custom deployments from IBM Global Services. µ

 

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