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In a bid to make manufacturing of Celeron M 500 CPUs economically more efficient, Intel will introduce a shrunk-down core in the near future.

Last January Intel introduced the Celeron M 520, a low-cost entry-level mobile CPU based on Core microarchitecture. At $134 the CPU was relatively low-cost from a consumer point of view -- with scheduled price drop to $107 on April 22nd. Under the hood the CPU featured a "fully fledged" Merom core with the current B2 stepping. It's safe to assume that these feature at least 2 cores and 2MB L2 Cache -- given the processors have different manufacturing lines for 4MB and 2MB models.

In the recent PCN 107423-00 Intel notified its customers about a stepping change for Celeron M 520. Although a Celeron M 530 was introduced on March 25th at $134, in the PCN this model is not mentioned at all. Intel informs that said model will transition from a Merom B2 stepping core to a new Merom-L core with A stepping, which will be available starting the 1st of June.

The only change for customers is a different CPUID which requires a BIOS update along with a microcode update in oder to support the CPU correctly. Besides Intel notes that "Merom-L A stepping material has minor die size decrease due to manufacturing optimizations to
increase product availability".

As the PCN only mentions a minor die size decrease it remains open whether Intel only reduced the L2 cache down to 1MB or also managed to cut off one of the two CPU cores. My bet is on L2 Cache only, as it explicitly mentions "minor" and the CPU cores in Core-based CPUs are linked kinda tightly so it would have required some sort of redesign of the chip.

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New launches
By crystal clear on 4/8/2007 12:19:48 PM , Rating: 1
Core 2 Extreme QX6800


Intel quietly launches first Core 2 Duo ULV processors

Santa Clara (CA) – Intel has added two ultra low voltage versions of its Core 2 Duo processor with Merom core to its product portfolio.

The new processors, the 1.06 GHz U7500 and the 1.2 GHz U7600, are based on the Core 2 Duo processor with 533 MHZ FSB and 2 MB L2 cache. However, the dual-core is rated at a thermal design power of 10 watts and will be targeting mini notebooks, tabl;et PCs and ultra-portable notebooks.

The U7500 and U7600 are introduced as part of the currently shipping “Napa refresh” platform, but will also be available for the upcoming Santa Rosa platform with a slight change in pinout (Santa Rosa processors use a P pinout instead of the M pinout of the Napa refresh processors.) The new Merom ULV CPUs will be replacing the Core Duo U2500 processor over the coming months.

One of the first manufacturers offering the U7500/U7600 will be Gateway who said that its E-100M notebook will be available with the two processors beginning on May 3 of this year.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
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