Intel has now added three new high efficiency Sandy Bridge CPUs to its product catalog, likely representing the chips Apple will use in its next refresh of the light and thin MacBook Air.
The ultra low voltage (ULV) are 17 watts, making them suitable for use in the ultra-thin MacBook Airs. The standard parts used by Apple consume 25-35 watts, making them unusable in the MacBook Air.
The new lineup consists of three part numbers:
- Core i7-2677M: dual cores running at 1.8 GHz (peaking to 2.9GHz), 4MB cache, listing for $317
- Core i7-2637M: dual cores running at 1.7GHz (peaking to 2.8GHz), 4MB cache, listing for $289
- Core i5-2557M: dual cores running at 1.7GHz (peaking to 2.7GHz), 3MB cache, listing for $250
Intel sees a big market for notebooks similar to Apple's MacBook Air, which the chipmaker calls "ultrabooks." When the Air was fist released, it was criticized for not being thin enough and giving up too many features. Apple has since made the Air thinner and reduced the price, while adding a Solid State Drive, which supports very fast booting, wake, and program launching.
The report cited analyst Doug Freedman of Gleacher & Company, who refers to machines like the Mac Book Air as "SSD notebooks," as commenting that "In the 4-year lifespan of [Apple's] iconic MacBook Air, units sold as a percentage of its total notebook supply was 8% in 2008, 9% in 2009, and 17% in 2010 to an estimated 48% in 2011."
"We expect total notebook SSD penetration at a conservative 5 percent in 2011 growing to 30% in 2014," Freedman stated. He noted that Intel is planning to bundle its own SSD storage devices with its CPUs to sell PC makers packages of components, something the company already does with CPUs and chipsets.
[Via: Apple Insider]