Mobile computing was not invented with the smartphone, or with the tablet. The notebook computer was the first device that really made mobile computing possible. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) today celebrates the ten year anniversary of one of the most important advances in that market, the Centrino Chip set.

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On March 12, 2003 Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) introduced the first Centrino system, codenamed Carmel. The system incorporated the firm’s first Pentium M processor and a Wireless adapter into an Intel chip set. The technology made the rise of notebooks not only possible, but inevitable, fusing acceptable processing power with mobile data.

Before the introduction of the Centrino, consumers who knew little about electronics had to decide on the processor, wireless adapter and chip set individually depending on brand. Centrino was a brand, developed with an incredible marketing campaign, that simplified the choice and made Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) the name in notebook computing.

Unfortunately, Intel has had its struggles of late. The company is still looking for a new CEO, and its advance into the modern arena of mobile computing has been achingly slow. The firm is still, by far, the most important name in notebooks, and its prospects in the mobile arena are growing. Intel has a long way to go, but the base it built for itself with the Centrino chip set still provides support.

In the run up to Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)’s launch of the Centrino chip set, the company ran an ad campaign featuring the promise “On March 12, Intel will not only change how you work, but where you work.” Intel fulfilled that promise, and ten years later the effects of that change are still taking hold.

Modern mobile chip sets are all, due to spacial necessity, integrated. They take their cues from the path Centrino cut. Intel changed the computing world with that technology, and today, on the tenth anniversary of that technology’s release, the company deserves some credit for the current mobile revolution, even if it is on the sidelines.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is still trying to revolutionize computing, and, if past performance is any guide to future results, the company has at least as good a chance as any other in defining the space. Centrino came to define the notebook. Another Intel technology could define the next decade.

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