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Intel crowds ultrathin chip space

Cut-rate Celerons rumored

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Intel is said to be preparing the release of new low-power chips for ultrathin notebooks, even as it watches its current chips dip in market share when compared to those from arch-rival AMD.

According to a report from Taiwanese market watchdog DigiTimes, those ever-gabby "sources at notebook makers" say that two new microprocessors - the Celeron 740 and SU2300 - will be targeted at entry-level ultrathins.

DigiTimes's sources say that both the Celeron 740 and SU2300 will be dual-core processors, clocked at 1.3GHz and 1.2GHz, respectively. Both will have a 1MB L2 cache and ride on an 800MHz frontside bus. What suits the power-miserly pair best for the ultrathin market, however, is their identically cool 10-watt TDP.

Those omniscient sources also claim that Intel's existing ultrathin-bound chips are due for a price drop in August, which would enable the average selling price of such a notebook based on the Celeron 723 to be in the NT$22,000 to NT$20,000 range. That'd be around £400 to £370 in UK cash and $675 to $615 US.

Such a move might help Intel win back some of the market share it recently lost to AMD. As we reported yesterday, new research by market-intelligence firm iSuppli shows Intel's market share slipping by 2.5 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

Needless to say, Intel's lead is still a hefty one. Its share remains over six times as large as AMD's. But, seeing as how iSuppli estimates that global microprocessor sales totalled $6.9bn (£4.2bn) in the first quarter of 2009, 2.5 per cent of those sales adds up to over $172m (£104.1m) - hardly chump change.

Both Intel and AMD are betting big on the ultrathin market - Intel trying to convince us that "Thin is in" and AMD busily prepping its ultrathin-bound Congo platform for release later this quarter.

If and when they are released, Intel's Celeron 740 and SU2300 will enter an increasingly crowded ultrathin battleground. ®

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