New notebook platforms launched by Intel in 2010 will no longer highlight the inclusion of an Intel CPU, chipset, and wireless solution under the Centrino brand, and will instead focus on the CPU under the Core brand, a company representative has revealed. Since shipments of Centrino-branded notebooks account for over 40% of Intel's total CPU shipments, the move is expected to significantly open up the market for third-party WLAN chip suppliers, according to industry sources.
Intel commented that focusing marketing and branding around the processor, and more specifically around the Intel Core brand, will make it easier for consumers to choose the right Intel technology. The Centrino brand will be transitioned to specifically represent Intel's Wi-Fi and WiMAX products.
Intel's new CPU-oriented strategy will enable notebook vendors to shop around for wireless solutions and could mean the release of up to 30-35% of the global demand for WLAN 802.11n chips to chipset suppliers such as Broadcom, Marvell Technology, Atheros and Taiwan-based Realtek Semiconductor and Ralink Technology, the sources noted.
As current Centrino platforms target the mid- to high-end notebook segments, overseas chipset players are likely to benefit directly from Intel's new policy, said the sources, while Taiwan's chipset suppliers will gradually expand their share in the entry- to mid-range sectors.