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Intel plans to develop new CPU architecture for ultra-low cost laptop computers

Intel isn’t content to cede any portion of the CPU market to rival AMD and to compete on all fronts -- including the OLPC market -- Intel plans to develop a new CPU architecture.

No current Intel processors fit the specifications for the one laptop per child notebook program (OLPC), so Intel is designing a new processor specifically for the ultra-low cost laptop category where the AMD 433MHz Geode LX-700 reigns king.

Few specifications on the new Intel architecture are known at this time, other than it will be cheap and aimed at the specifications of the AMD processor currently being used in the OLPC system. Yahoo! News is reporting that Intel considered using existing mobile processors including modified versions of the Celeron M and the upcoming Silverthorne processors, which were specifically designed for mobile systems.

Those processors were ruled out because Intel says the small size, low cost and low power consumption required by the OLPC laptop are unique enough to warrant a new architecture. While Intel processors aren’t powering the official OLPC, Intel parts are used in similar systems including the Classmate PC and the ASUS Eee.

The ASUS Eee PC will be shipping soon and is going to be sold through Newegg.com and Best Buy. That system features a 7-inch screen and should be quite power efficient. However, the retail price for the system is more than the target cost of the OLPC, which originally was aiming at a $100 price tag.

Prices for the official OLPC system have since increased significantly over the original $100 target.





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