Intel today unveiled its next generation Centrino 2 platform - previously codenamed as Montevina - which promises to take dramatic steps forward in improving energy efficiency, processor speed and wireless connectivity for mobile computers. The platform will come in two flavors: a consumer model that focuses on higher 3D performance and HD media capabilities, and another with vPro technology for business customers that need built-in security and manageability features.

The long-awaited Centrino 2 platform includes 802.11n Wi-Fi support, 45nm Penryn-based mobile processors with front side bus frequencies up to 1066MHz and Intel's 4 Series Express Mobile chipset with support for both DDR2 and DDR3 memory standards. The first installment of the Centrino 2 rollout includes five dual core processors clocked at speeds ranging from 2.26GHz to 3.06GHz, with the first quad-core mobile chip to follow within 90 days. Not surprisingly, laptop vendors have been quick to jump on the new platform and many of them are expected to ship products as soon as late July and into August.