Intel expanded its processor family today with six new chips, each designed to make ultraportable notebooks thinner, lighter, and with 32% better performance. We're talking laptops less than an inch thick with ULV Core i7 inside. We're talking MacBook Air.
The MacBook Air's been long overdue for a refresh, especially after its regular-sized cousins so recently got a spec bump. Rumor had it an announcement would come two weeks ago, but that obviously wasn't going to happen until Intel made their ULV CPUs official.
Those new mobile Core processors—based on the same 32-nanometer chip design the standard voltage i5 and i7—promise 15% less power consumption and a 30% thinner form factor without sacrificing key features like Hyper Threading and Turbo Boost. They'll also be 15% more power efficient, although actual battery life expectations are still TBD.
While the chips are ideal for the thin-and-light market, don't expect to see them popping up elsewhere. In a webcast today, Intel's Mooly Eden noted that while the new series can handle some graphics and media, they won't be able to run heavy gaming. At the same time, they're still too large to show up in tablet devices.
It's about time the ultraportable laptop space got a performance boost, and it won't be long before we start to see these processors showing up in the market: over 40 OEMs have promised to roll out new ULV designs as early as next month.
Intel Expands 2010 Intel® Core™ Processor Family to Stylish Ultra-Thin Laptops
SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 24, 2010 – Intel Corporation introduced new Intel® Core™ processors today, extending the availability of its award-winning Intel Core processor family to more stylish, ultra-thin laptops. Ultraportable laptops – less than an inch thick and weighing just 2 to 5 pounds – offer the performance, battery life and connectivity consumers need on-the-go.
Based on Intel's 32 nanometer (nm) technology manufacturing, the processors are more than 32 percent smaller1 and deliver more than 32 percent better performance2, all in a lightweight, sleek design. These new processors also reduce power consumption3 more than 15 percent, resulting in great battery life.
"Consumers crave laptops that offer style and performance, and the new 2010 Intel® Core™ Ultra-Low Voltage processors for ultra-thin laptops delivers both, in one sleek design," said Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel. "Intel's leadership in 32nm high-k metal gate process technology, combined with breakthrough architecture and design has enabled thinner, lighter and faster notebooks than previous models, with terrific battery life. Not only are laptops becoming ultraportable, but with the new processors inside, users will see faster response times and less waiting."
Processors that feature Intel® Turbo Boost Technology4 will automatically accelerate performance, adjusting to the workload to give users an immediate performance boost when needed. Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology5, available in Intel® Core™ i7, Intel® Core™ i5 and Intel® Core™ i3 processors, provides responsiveness and helps reduce latency when performing several tasks simultaneously. With Intel® HD Graphics, the processors deliver crystal-clear visuals, vibrant colors and smooth high-definition (HD) video and audio playback.
In addition, recently announced Mobile Intel® 5 Series Chipset designed for use with the ULV-based laptops expands support for multiple video and audio options, enhanced data and PC protection with Intel® Anti-Theft Technology and robust data protection for users' digital assets.
More than 40 designs are expected from computer makers such as Acer, Asus, Lenovo and MSI, and will be offered at a variety of price points beginning in June. For more information and images, visit www.intel.com/pressroom/kits/ultrathin. To learn how ultra-thin can benefit your mobile lifestyle see the Intel Inside Scoop blog.