Intel to bring out chip for lower-cost thin laptops

Chipmaker plans to bring out a new processor later this year for low-cost ultra-thin laptops.

Intel will bring out a new Core-architecture processor for lower-cost ultra-thin laptops later this year, according to Intel sources at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

22-millimeter packaging used in the MacBook Air
22-millimeter packaging used in the MacBook Air Intel

The processors will distinguish themselves by targeting a price segment below pricey ultra-portables, which typically start at around $1,500 and range all the way up to $3,000--and higher in some cases. The processors will not compete with the Atom processor that powers Netbooks, which usually top out at $500.

In this sense, the new chips will be comparable to Advanced Micro Devices' recently announced Athlon Neo processor for ultra-thin laptops priced between $700 and $900.

The processor is "going to enable notebooks that are less than one inch (25mm)," according to the sources. The architecture will be a "tweak" of Intel's existing ULV (Ultra-Low-Voltage) processors, said the sources.

Current ULV Core 2 Duo mobile processors, such as the SU9300 and SU9400, have a power envelope (Thermal Design Power or TDP) of 10 watts, much lower than standard Intel mobile Core 2 Duo processors that have a TDP of between 25W and 35W.

ULV processors are used, for example, in ultraportables such as the Toshiba Portege R600 and Sony Vaio TT. Both are ultrathin high-priced boutique ultra-portables, starting at about $2,000.

Intel also offers SL series low-power mobile Core processors with a TDP of 17 watts.

The package size of the new processors will be 22 millimeters by 22 millimeters, according to the sources.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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