Intel to launch Centrino on March 12

Intel's Centrino bundle of a chipset, processor and wireless LAN module for portable computers will be released on March 12, an Intel spokesman in Europe said Friday.

The Centrino package is designed for mobility, allowing for the design of smaller notebooks that last longer on a single battery charge, according to Intel. The company also hopes Centrino will boost wireless LAN (WLAN) use. Intel now makes its own modules for 802.11b WLAN, a market dominated by WLAN specialists.

Intel revealed the Centrino name in January. The chip maker said then that the products would come to market in the first half of the year and later specified March as the launch month.

Centrino is the first Intel brand to stand for a combination of products. Computer makers that want a Centrino sticker on their hardware will have to buy the whole bundle, the spokesman said.

The new Pentium-M processor, previously known by the codename Banias, is at the heart of the Centrino package and was designed specifically for portable computers. Earlier Intel notebook processors were essentially desktop processors tweaked for mobile use.

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