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 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 every 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.

Besides Mitac, ECS, Clevo, MSI, Vestel, Compal, Quanta, Asus and over 20 other original design manufacturers will offer the new Intel mobile motherboards.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada