Intel Centrino 2 Coming to Macs?

Intel on Monday launched the much delayed Centrino 2, its latest mobile platform. Centrino 2 was originally scheduled to launch in June, but problems with the integrated graphics and paperwork issues involving the wireless antenna forced Intel to delay the release. Code-named Montevina, this is the first major upgrade since Intel’s Centrino brand mobile chipset platform was launched in 2003.

The new chipset promised higher speed wireless module, faster integrated graphics and improved power saving features:

  • Includes Core 2 Duo processors running between 2.26GHz and 3.06GHz. Intel will ship a quad-core Core 2 Extreme for Centrino 2 later this year, aiming for the gaming market.

  • Support DDR3 memory, a faster 1,066MHz system bus and 802.11n wireless networking. A version supporting the WiMax wireless broadband will be out later this year

  • Centrino 2 will come with a Centrino 2 vPro version, which has security management features suitable for use in the enterprise. Centrino 2 chips are manufactured using 45-nanometer process.

  • GMA X4500 integrated graphics chipset can handle 3-D graphics and full hardware decoding of high-definition AVC/VC-1/MP2 content. Users will be able to watch a two-hour Blu-ray movie on a single six-cell battery charge.

  • In addition to integrated graphics, support the configuration for discreet graphics components, such as those from Nvidia or ATI, for intensive graphics processing.

  • Better power saving with HUGI (Hurry Up and Get Idle) feature and Intel’s Deep Power Down Technology.

All the usual suspects including Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, Lenovo, Acer, Dell and Fujitsu have already released new notebooks based on the Centrino 2 platform. As in the past, Apple is missing from the Intel party. Apple has never publicly acknowledge the use of Centrino platform, and Apple does not stick the Centrino label onto Mac notebooks like the other vendors.

But we are quite certain that Apple will use Centrino 2 or its technologies in the next MacBook and MacBook Pro refresh, which many predict to be soon. We are curious to find out if Apple will take the lead in making WiMax and Blu-ray drive standard in notebooks, or even go to the extend of putting in 3G or GPS into one of the upcoming Mac model. MacBook Air 3G anyone?