updated 11:20 am EDT, Mon May 10, 2010
Intel prepping many new mobile chips in 2010
Intel is about to launch a sweeping set of notebook processor upgrades, according to a slew of official information. A roadmap from the company has an ultra-low voltage (ULV) Core i3 in the works along with new ULV Core i5s. The chips' specs or pricing aren't known, but they would be inexpensive enough to count as part of Intel's CULV family and could replace the Core 2 Duo in the ultraportable yet cheap category, where prices often dip below $800. They will all be built on the same 32nm process as their full-power counterparts and will share the graphics built into the chip package.
PC Client Operations VP Stephen Smith said the chips will be available for companies to use before the end of the spring but that shipping notebooks wouldn't arrive until the second half of the year.
Simultaneously, a new repair manual (PDF) for the new HP Envy 17 has shown a handful of new regular mobile processors from Intel. Topping the group would be the 1.86GHz Core i7 840QM, a speed upgrade that would put Intel's non-Extreme quad-core mobile processors past 1.73GHz for the first time. A possible replacement chip, the i7 740QM, would still sit at 1.73GHz but would have a more modest 6MB of cache to keep its pricing down. A Core i5 450M would run at the same 2.4GHz speed as the i5 520M and with 3MB of cache; what changes aren't known, but it might disable Hyperthreading while keeping a 2.93GHz Turbo Boost.
Predictions from HP Fansite also claim that Intel may have a 2.26GHz quad Core i7 that supercedes the 2GHz model and ramps up to 3.33GHz in Turbo Boost. Mainstream Core i5 500 series chips could also be in store that move up past the current 2.4GHz and 2.53GHz without increasing the power input or price.
The updates make it probable that HP and many other notebook manufacturers will either add the extra processors to their lineups by the time the chips are ready and could have a slew of updated computers in the fall. Some companies, such as Acer and Apple, may be waiting on the ULV chips to introduce new TimelineX and MacBook Air systems and could extend their full-size notebooks in the future.