updated 07:30 pm EDT, Mon June 20, 2011
Intel delivers new ULV Core i5 and i7 chips
Intel has quietly begun shipping the faster ultra-low voltage processors in the Sandy Bridge family that may be destined for Apple. The 1.7GHz Core i5 2557M, the similarly clocked Core i7 2637M, and the 1.8GHz Core i7 2677M should all be reaching notebook manufacturers. The lone i5 carries 3MB of cache and will Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz, while the i7s have 4MB of cache and will turbo to 2.8GHz and 2.9GHz respectively.
Prices for batches of 1,000 chips start at $250 for the entry chip and move up to $289 and $317 for the faster two processors.
At 17W of peak power consumption across a given CPU and its chipset, the new range would be lean enough to work in the 11-inch MacBook Air. Apple would be more likely to step up to the 2.1GHz Core i7 2629M for the 13-inch Air since it consumes slightly more at 25W but would be noticeably faster and roughly match up with the Core 2 Duo S chips on sale today.
Apple wouldn't use the processors until later this month or early July. It may still be the first to adopt the processors, however, since a close imitator, the ASUS UX21, will be using the Core i5 2557M and won't be shipping until September. [via CNET]