Yonah Has Landed

Centrino Duo Certification LogoIntel Core Duo Processor LogoThe long awaited Yonah (a.k.a the first dual-core processor for mobile computers) has arrived. And the prophecy brought upon by Yonah this time is quite compelling: the Centrino Duo mobile platform is looking hotter than ever, so switch now or …

By the way, Yonah is the code name for the first mobile dual core processor while it was still in development, which is now officially dubbed as “Intel Core Duo? processor. And as usual, Centrino, now Centrino Duo, is the new platform certification logo which accompanies Yonah. Centrino Duo will certify the presence of the following technologies in a single mobile product: Intel Core Duo processor, Mobile Intel 945 Express Chipset, and the brand new Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG network adapter.

Yonah is engineered using the new 65 nm (nano-meters) manufacturing or fabrication process, which replaced the 90 nm manufacturing process currently used for producing the 3rd generation of Pentium M processor family, dubbed as Sonoma (7×0) processor. The 65 nm denotes the size of a single semiconductor component produced using this fabrication process. For comparison, the diameter of an HIV virus measures 120 nm, so a single transistor now sizes nearly half of an HIV virus.

This piece of engineering marvel obviously opens doors for fitting more transistors into a single silicon dye: means more processing power and possibly more cache memory. And because transistors can be placed so close to each other, it also means less heat and less power consumption due to electrons do not need to travel far between gates. Before you dismiss my statement as absurd, I need to explain the logic: the more distance electrons must travel between components, more heat will be dissipated in vain and hence unnecessary power loss (because it’s NOT a zero-resistant superconductor substance; it’s a semiconductor, therefore it is bound by the law of resistance against electric current or moving electrons). Increased performance and reduced power consumption is the reason why Steve Jobs made the switch to Intel (or so he claimed it). It’s a bit of a paradox in this case though, because if semiconductor components are cramped so closely together like that, it may lead to a quantum phenomenon called leakage, which ultimately results in more power consumption.

Yonah will be available in several options, as the following chart depicts (click on it to enlarge):

Core Duo Specs

Intel 945 Express Chipset will be available in two variants: 945GM (with integrated Intel GMA 950 GPU), and 945PM (no GPU). It boasts support for DDR2 memory up to 667 MHz, FSB speed up to 667 MHz, PCI Express x16, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology, Deeper Sleep, Intel High Definition Audio 24bit, and SATA-1 interface.

The latest Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG network adapter offered with Centrino Duo platform is pretty much the same as its tri-mode predecessor Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG. The only difference between the twos is the bundled Intel PROSet software. 3945ABG comes with Business Class Wireless Suite with Enhanced VoIP quality technology and Optimal AP Selection technology, Cisco compatible Extensions v4, and Wake on WLAN.

The first Yonah powered notebook, Acer TravelMate 8200 will be unveiled soon, and according to rumors, the first generation of Mactel powered with Yonah processors will be unveiled during Macworld San Fransisco (MWSF) this month. It’ll be most probably iBook and Mac Mini, according to some Mac rumors websites. Dell will launch Yonah based notebooks as early as February, and I assume the floodgate of other brands will soon follow.

So we can expect an exciting year for gadget shoppers this year, including myself. But I’m thinking of getting Mactel Powerbook this time, and hopefully I can dual-boot to Mac OS and Windows with it. It’s just a fool’s hope, said Gandalf…

Disclaimer: the Intel Core Duo logo, Centrino Duo logo are copyrighted logo of Intel Corporation. Intel Core Duo Processor specifications chart is copied from Intel website and is also a copyright of Intel Corporation. I fully acknowledged this, so please don’t sue me. )

Posted on January 9, 2006, in Gadgetry. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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