updated 03:20 pm EST, Mon February 25, 2008
Intel Phasing Out Old Core
Intel is planning to ramp down production of its now-old Core 2 processors quickly to make room for Centrino 2, notebook manufacturers say. Rather than gradually shut down production of the old chips, the semiconductor firm intends to make the new, faster platform the dominant platform virtually on launch. While its current platform (nicknamed Santa Rosa) is expected to make up about 60 percent of all notebook platform sales for the first quarter of the year, that number will plunge to about 35 percent during the spring as Centrino 2 and its accompanying processors reach the market.
By the end of the year, just 10 percent of all shipments will be left to the older technology and will mainly be comprised of budget Celeron systems, according to the report. Santa Rosa's predecessor, Napa, currently makes up 6 percent of the market for a few specialized companies and should drop to 3 percent in the spring before it leaves shops entirely.
The reported drop-off is relatively steep and would reveal Intel's plans for a relatively quick transition to the new Centrino 2 platform, which will allow for a faster 1,066MHz system bus (up from 800MHz), better power efficiency, and smaller processor sizes than for today's Santa Rosa (Centrino 1) architecture. Such a move would if true force most notebook makers to adopt Centrino 2 relatively quickly, particularly performance-oriented vendors such as Apple, Dell, and Sony.