Muffled by the cacophony of like a million netbooks and the wireless power that'll power our cyborg brains at the Intel Developer Forum was the low-key introduction of Intel's next-gen 45nm dual core chips for ultra-thin notebooks-i.e., the dwarven chips that made the MacBook Air possible. Now that everybody can snag them, expect a surge of similarly limber notebooks that can suck in their gut to fit into narrow pockets of ugly paper. Lenovo's X301 and HP's 2530p already use the new chips. The SL9400 and SL9300 running at 1.8Ghz and 1.6GHz, respectively, both have a 1066MHz FSB and appear to be the Core 2 Duo Low Voltage (LV) chips with a TDP of 17W, while the SU9400 and SU9300 are the ULV variants, clocked at 1.4GHz and 1.2GHz with a 10W TDP. While the clock speeds of the LV chips are the same as the MBA's, the switch to the 45nm process and faster front-side bus should yield both performance gains and power savings. More importantly, their ready availability for all-comers could make the ultra-thin market a lot more interesting, though we're kind of afraid at this point of what Asus will do with them. [Ars Technica]
@aec007: True, Sony was in the game before. But I think it's arguable that the MBA would be more of a catalyst for the market segment. Same with touchscreens and the iPhone—it wasn't the first by a longshot, but it really drove touchscreens on a mobile device into the consumer consciousness, so now everyone is popping out touchscreens, even RIM. And I find it tough to swallow that RIM's touchscreen phone is anything but a response to the iPhone. I'm actually not really a fan of the Air, to be honest, at least in its current form.