Intel has also made strides with switchable graphics, which works since the system contains two graphics cores. One core will be integrated and the other core will be discrete. Intel is able to save 7W by doing this, which is one and a half hours just by having the ability to switch which graphics core you are using. If you are doing internet surfing you can use the integrated graphics and then flip it over to the discrete graphics for gaming. Pretty neat technology!
The third and final component that makes up the Centrino 2 platform is the Wireless and Intel is pushing WiFi and WiMax for Centrino 2. Intel Centrino 2 based notebooks will have greater range and speed when connecting wirelessly to a wireless draft-N network with the just announced Intel WiFi Link 5000 series. The Intel WiFi Link 5100 is rated at 300Mbps while the Intel WiFi Link 5300 is rated at a faster 450Mbps, which is what Intel claims from true downlink speeds using 802.11g and 802.11n standards. Intel also has a new mini-card and half-mini card form factors that will be used in the sleek and sexy notebook modules that are one quarter the size of the original 2003-2005 Centrino WiFi cards of the time (Intel Pro/Wireless 2100 network cards).
Intel has developed a WiMax and WiFi combination card for the Intel Centrino 2 platform that will be released in the second half of 2008. The new card is called the WiMAX/WiFi Link 5350 and can be seen in the image above. In four to five years time Intel expects WiMAX to be all over the place, but all new technology has speed bumps. Intel recently delayed WiMax by three weeks, but they said today at the launch keynote that the problem has been solved and WiMax is back on track.
The first city to get WiMax will be in Baltimore in September 2008 and other cities will follow like Washington DC down the road. If you want to get a Centrino 2 notebook next month you will be unable to get WiMax. Right now all the shipping notebooks all feature just WiFi cards, but down the road the WiMax ready cards will ready and available for use in Centrino 2.