Intel launched the second generation of Centrino today, its notebook platform. Codenamed 'Sonoma', the next generation of Centrino will be hard for many prospective buyers to tell apart from the first generation. But Intel expects widespread take-up of the platform among notebook manufacturers, with some 80 different Sonoma-based laptop models expected this month, and double that on sale by the summer of this year.

Centrino notebook will - for now - be based on a Pentium M processor, with associated chipset and wireless functionality. In the Sonoma generation, chipset will be a 915PM, 915GM, 915GMS or 915GML, all members of the 'Alviso' family, which, as the '915' and 'M' naming scheme suggests, is a mobile version of the desktop 915 series, aka 'Grantsdale'. [It additionally provides] "power-optimised" 533MHz frontside bus, PCI Express, Serial ATA, 400MHz and 533MHz DDR 2 SDRAM, Intel's Hi-Def Audio, dynamic screen backlight power management, and - in the case of the GM and GMS chipsets - its DirectX 9-compatible, Hi-Def video-enabled Media Graphics Accelerator 900 integrated imaging engine.

Specific prices don't seem to be currently available, however the Centrino bundles incorporating the new CPUs and chipsets, and existing Wi-Fi adaptors range from $270-705 - bought in batches of 1000, that is. Expect to see this in the shops soon.