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Intel says competitors to Apple can use the CPU found in the MacBook Air; 45nm CPU refresh coming this Fall

When Apple unveiled the MacBook Air most every technophile stifled a lustful moan.  However, the paltry specifications included in the Air leave something to be desired -- even to the most ardent of Steve Jobs protégés.

PC manufacturers expect to fill the gap. InformationWeek reports that two PC makers will release similarly size Windows systems using the miniaturized Core 2 Duo processor found in the svelte MacBook Air. 

The low-voltage Core 2 Duo processor found in the MacBook Air is not present in any other computer to date.  Some would claim Intel designed the processor specifically for Apple, though Intel roadmaps designate the ultra-low voltage processor as "publicly available" to any system integrator. 

The low-voltage Core 2 Duo played a big part in the ability for Apple to make the Air so thin. The processor is built on the older Intel Merom processor family, though the "mini" version is 60% smaller that other Merom processors.

The 1.6 GHz Core 2 Duo certainly won't set any speed records.   In fact, the 65nm processor first got its debut at 1.8 GHz in 2006.  Similar performing 65nm Yonah processors at 1.8 GHz debuted almost a year before that. 

Intel announced its 45nm processor line last month, just a week before the MacBook Air announcement.  However, those interested in sacrificing performance for slim footprints won't have to wait long: Intel's corporate roadmap claims 45nm versions of Penryn, the current processor generation, will be available this fall.

Even if PC manufacturers incorporate the mini Merom processor in upcoming notebooks before this Fall,  Apple will certainly opt for the 45nm processor in the next-generation MacBook Air. 

Intel has not released the names of the PC manufacturers anticipating to release slim PCs based on the "mini" Merom processors.


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RE: Why so slim?
By BikeDude on 2/3/2008 12:42:31 PM , Rating: 2
Slim is good in a few cases. I have two different backpacks: LowePro NatureTrekker and the PhotoTrekker (neither of which are very cheap btw). I use the big one when going on safari (with my 500mm lens) and the other for lesser adventures. But both backpacks have one thing in common: After fitting my photo equipment inside, there's really not much space left for a laptop. Unless the laptop happens to be _thin_.

Luckily, the standard MacBook Pro will just about fit. Not comfortably, but I cannot live without a DVD burner, so the MacBook Air doesn't matter to me.

That said, these days I'm probably better off carrying my laptop outside the backpack anyway, seeing as airport security makes this a requirement. Still nice to fit it all inside the backpack though, at least until I've checked in my other luggage.

But IMO, a better question is: Why does a laptop have to be so thick?


RE: Why so slim?
By Calin on 2/4/2008 3:59:22 AM , Rating: 2
Because all the internal components have a certain volume. Also, when using heat-producing equipment, you must have air channels over to their heat sinks. Again, fans in the laptops occupy a certain volume.
Batteries also have volume (and usually comes a quarter of an inch thick). Add space for the keyboard, for the hard drive (2.5" per a quarter inch thick).


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