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Intel blows up Atom with mainstream processors

Intel has unveiled a family of processors for low-cost mobile computing. The company said the chips will power a range of ultra-thin laptops, weighing between 0.9kg and 2.2kg.

Until now, users wanting lightweight ultra-thin laptops had to opt for high-end machines like the Sony Viao and Apple MacBook Air, costing £1,000+, or go downmarket and purchase a sub-£200 netbook.

Intel said machines powered by the ultra-low voltage (ULV) processors will enable sleek consumer laptop designs less than an inch thick, at mainstream prices. Intel said the processors also consume less power to enable longer battery life.

Along with the processors, Intel has unveiled the Mobile Intel GS40 Express Chipset for ULV-based laptops. The chipset supports HD playback, Windows Vista Premium support and native support for integrated HDMI.

Sales of Atom-powered netbooks have cannibalised Intel's mainstream mobile processors, which cost considerably more to manufacture. Intel may be able to attract users with the ULV chip powering lower-cost laptops that offer the convenience of Netbook.


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