Intel offering first ever notebook motherboard

Intel’s channel mobile marketing manager Bill Davidson posed a challenging question during the launch event of the Santa Rosa chips: North American system builders produce more than 30 per cent of the desktop PC built, but why do they only represent one per cent of the mobile PC made?

Davidson said that Intel believes with the release of the updated Centrino line with Core 2 Duo and Pro chipset can radically alter this ratio. With that, Intel is, for the first time, releasing Intel branded mobile motherboards. They are the Mobile MGM965TW and the Mobile Board MGM965JB. Both motherboards will be available in June of this year as a 15.4-inch configurable notebook barebones system through Mitac and local aggregators.

“Intel has been building motherboards for 20 years and for the first time ever we are building a motherboard for notebooks and the difference is that any reseller can buy and match this up with the chassis and it will work together,” Davidson said.

The company has committed 40 employees to this motherboard initiative for notebooks and it will be 100 per cent focused on the channel, Davidson added.

“One out of ever two client PCs are notebooks and the channel is a small percentage of that today,” Davidson said.

Davidson could not pinpoint how much of a percentage increase these products will have in white book market place. However, he did characterize the growth to be “dramatic.”

“We want channel health and as the world goes mobile the channel has to go mobile,” he said.

Mitac will be the first to offer these mobile motherboards, but Davidson foresees resellers building clam shells for white books over time. “This is a step in the right direction,” he said.

Davidson see growth in gaming notebooks, digital media servers with the Viiv chipset, upselling customers on the new draft N standard for Wireless computing, and the new market for pinning applications.

Pinning applications enables a user to run and boot a program faster using the new optional Centrino feature Turbo Memory. With Turbo Memory, a reseller can pin one application to the Turbo Memory. For example, if a company’s accounting department uses only QuickBooks a reseller can custom build white books where the program is pinned to Turbo Memory enabling the accountants to run and boot the application 20 per cent faster, according to Davidson.

Besides Mitac, ECS, Clevo, MSI, Vestel, Compal, Quanta, Asus and more than 20 other original design manufacturers will be offering the new Intel mobile motherboards.

“These folks build 99 per cent of the notebooks around the world. We need (the channel) to finish the integration,” Davidson said.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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