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Intel preps slimline chip for slimline notebooks

Designed from the ground up, apparently

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Intel is designing from the ground-up a new mobile CPU aimed directly at the ultra-thin notebook market.

The new, unnamed processor was apparently hinted at during last October's Microprocessor Forum, but Intel's Mobile Platforms spinmeister-in-chief, Don MacDonald, was recently kind enough to tell CNET all about it.

Well, ish. MacDonald simply says it's a totally new chip and is being designed by the team that came up with the ill-fated Timna system-on-a-chip part. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean the new notebook CPU will sport integrated graphics, memory controller etc.

Arguably, it shouldn't put such components on the die since that increases the transistor count and thus the size of the chip. The bigger the chip, the greater the heat problem, even at 0.13 micron, the gate-length the chip will be fabbed at. Then again, adding transistors to up the size of on-die L2 cache makes for a performance gain, allowing a lower, more heat-friendly clock speed.

MacDonald claimed Chipzilla's focus will be on implementing SpeedStep-style voltage switching and the use of gated clock transistors, which can be switched off when not needed to conserve power.

MacDonald also noted that the chip is due to arrive sometime in 2002 - a nice, wide timeframe that. ®

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CNET's story can be found here

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