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Via takes aim at Intel Centrino

Antar means inside
Tue Jan 21 2003, 10:53
A REPORT SAID Via plans to release mobile chips codenamed "Antar" that will cost less than Intel's up-and-coming Centrino-Banias products and offer low power consumption and decent thermals.

But the report, in today's Digitimes, claims that the processors will kick off at speeds from 900MHz, which could be a problem.

The chips will be a third cheaper than Banias Centrino processors and are likely to be based on the Centaur-Cyrix C3 core, offering a rather cool 10 watts of power, the report said.

But here it gets complicated.

Although the Centrino-Banias family will be introduced in low and ultra low versions, the mainstream notebook chip will likely be introduced at 1.6GHz.

Intel appears confident that it can change the process technology from its initial .13µ (micron) to 90 nanometers at the end of the year, at which time it will have "Dothan" mobile processors running at 2GHz and above.

Yet Intel is not positioning its Banias-Centrino family in terms of raw megahertz, but as a performance notebook platform.

Centrino also comprises the Calexico wi-fi wireless kits as well as different Intel chipsets.

Roadmaps seen by the INQUIRER over the last few months show it's going to enter the wi-fi market as well. This all suggests that if the Digitimes report is true, Via will attempt to target "Antar" as a Centrino competitor, knowing full well that Intel cannot sell the processor on megahertz.

Because Intel is selling its Pentium 4M notebook CPUs on megahertz.

A more byzantine industry it is hard to imagine... µ


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