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Intel's Chicken: SFF

A look at the chip that is powering the new Mac Book Air

When Steve Jobs was talking about the specially redesigned CPU that lies at the heart of the new Mac Book Air, a few people already had an idea what he was talking about.

Last fall, Intel had been talking about a new form factor for their laptop CPUs, the Small Form Factor, or SFF. This is to be a new standard package for their mobile chips, which reduces the size by about 60% from the current standard package. Or, the same size that Steve Jobs was talking about for the new special chip in the Mac Book Air.

So, which came first? Steve Job's special chip, or Intel's new offering?

Well, Jobs mentioned that Apple first approached Intel a year ago, and there is the fact that the version Intel is talking about is for the next version of the Core 2 Duo (Penryn), whereas the Mac Book Air uses the current version (Merom) of the Core 2 Duo.

So, it seems that this was developed specifically at the request of Apple for use in the stunningly thin Mac Book Air. But, Intel knows a good idea when it sees one, and is adapting the idea to more general use with their next round of hardware.