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Intel Delays Centrino 2 To July 14


Chicago (CA) - Sources close to Intel have confirmed to TG Daily earlier reports that Intel’s Montevina notebook platform, referred to as Centrino 2, will see a substantial delay. Montevina will not make it to Computex next week and will miss its originally planned debut date later in June. Intel has decided to delay Centrino 2, providing AMD with an opportunity to pitch its Puma platform and Turion Ultra processor.

Intel’s engineering and manufacturing engine has been running flawlessly over the past two years, taking away AMD’s room to breathe. But, of course, mistakes are bound to happen at some point and Intel is now being confronted with an issue serious enough to officially delay the launch of Centrino 2. Our sources confirmed that information provided by American Technology Research analyst Doug Freedman is accurate, claiming that the company had a "mis-step in the completion of FCC certification" for the next-generation Centrino processor with support for the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard. Freedman said that 802.11n support may see a slower ramp as Montevina can only be shipped with support 802.11 a/b/g for now.

Freedman also noted that Intel faces problems with its integrated graphics chipset, which is causing failures in OEM notebooks. "We believe the potential impact is to lower-end systems as higher-end notebooks are designed with discrete graphics cards. In fact, the impact on [Intel] is a possible improvement in mix within the chipset business; however, it is offset by the yield loss related to the functional issues."

Our sources at Intel told us that Centrino 2 is no scheduled for a July 14 launch with "some chipsets". A "couple of weeks later" the company will be shipping the full line of chipsets, as the company needs "a few extra days" for tasks such as antenna testing.

Of course, that delay brings up the question of the state of the Echo Peak WiMax chipset. As we hear, this current problem is completely separate from the company’s WiMax efforts. And realistically, as long as there is no solid foundation for a WiMax network in the U.S., it wouldn’t make sense for Intel shipping a WiMax chipset anyway.

However, it will be interesting to see whether AMD will be able to take advantage of this situation and whether Intel’s delay will be significant enough to allow AMD to capture a greater share of the H2 business. Puma, we heard, is ready to be rolled out and will aim mainly for the entry-level and mainstream segment of the market. It remains to be seen how Intel will be impacted, but there is no denying that the company needs its mobile platform to deliver: The mobile business brings in more than 40% of Intel’s profits (57% if we count in the money-losing businesses such as flash).