Intel's Montevina mistake causes Centrino setback

It's IT Blogwatch: in which Intel has to delay its new Centrino 2 laptop chipset ("Montevina"). Not to mention why Simon Cowell is scared of owls...

Sharon Gaudin squeezes Sumner Lemon to report:

A problem with Intel Corp.'s integrated graphics chip set has forced the company to postpone the launch of its new Centrino 2 laptop system. The problem could be just the foot in the door that rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has been looking for. While Intel is delaying its mobile chip set for a month, AMD is slated to announce its own next-generation mobile processor next week. This is the first product delay for Intel in two years ... Intel confirmed that its Centrino 2 mobile platform, code-named Montevina, is being pushed back from a scheduled release in June to a partial release in July and a more expansive release in August ... The Centrino 2 platform includes new Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme Mobile processors, as well as an updated chip set with integrated graphics. On the wireless side, Centrino 2 will offer support for Wi-Fi and WiMax as an option. more

Stewart Meagher adds:

Intel has pushed back the launch ... after discovering problems in the platform's integrated graphics as well as issues with 802.11n wireless certification ... the Centrino 2 platform will feature Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme mobile processors if it ever makes it out of the factory ... it's now looking like August at the earliest before anyone gets their hands on the new kit in any kind of volume, although the Intel PR machine is talking in terms of days when it comes to the delays. more

Wolfgang Gruener:

[It's] 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 ... 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). more

Eric Bangeman reminds:

Montevina is the successor to Intel's current Santa Rosa platform, and will come in two flavors: Shirley Peak and Echo Peak. Like Santa Rosa, Shirley Peak will use a 45nm Penryn CPU and will also include full support for 802.11n (Draft 2.0). Echo Peak will build on Shirley Peak, incorporating full support for WiMAX (802.16e-2005), which Intel says will be capable of speeds of up to 10Mbps down and 4Mbps up, into the chipset. Intel has yet to announce a shipping date for Echo Peak, and when asked about it today, a company spokesperson pointed to the current scarcity of WiMAX deployments in the US. more

Eric Savitz follows the money:

Intel (INTC) has confirmed analyst chatter that it is having some technical glitches with the latest version of its Centrino processors. Intel now says some versions of the chip will ship July 14, with others coming out in early August, missing the company’s target of a first-half ship date. The company said the delay reflects a problem with the graphic elements of the Montevina chipsets which support the processor. The company also said the delay was caused in part by failure to validate a wireless antenna on the chip with the FCC on time. Intel said the delay does not affect its financial outlook for Q2. more

But Dan Frommer's not so sure:

This is bad news for Intel customers like Apple (AAPL), which will have to wait several weeks to refresh their laptops with the new chips. (Even if the chips ship in mid-July, it will take longer for computers to ship in large volumes.) Why does the delay matter? Because now Apple probably won't be able to roll out updated MacBooks until mid-to-late summer -- well into the busy (and important) back-to-school shopping season. more

And finally...

Buffer overflow:

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 21 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email:

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