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Wednesday, May 31, 2006, 07:45 am PT (10:45 am ET)

Intel reveals plans for forthcoming notebook chips

Intel Corp. has just released plans for its mobile computing platform through the second quarter of 2007, which will include a new notebook processor with an 800MHz front-side bus.

According to a report by the microchip hounds at DailyTech, the world's largest chipmaker will introduce its next-generation of its "Merom" notebook processor — the successor to the Yonah chip found in Apple Computer's current line of Intel Macs — in two waves or "refreshes."

The first is expected to appear in August as part of Intel's existing "Napa" Centrino platform. It will be based on the company's 65-nanometer process and run on a 667MHz front-side bus. Intel previously announced that it will market these chips under the "Core 2 Duo" brand.

A second refresh of the Core 2 Duo Merom chip will reportedly show up in the second quarter of 2007 as part of Santa Rosa Centrino, the successor to Intel's Napa Centrino platform. This chip is said to sport an 800MHz front-side bus and add a new socket design called "Socket P."

Merom will initially be made available in five different variants ranging from 1.66GHz dual-core to 2.33GHz dual-core. The low-end model will cost approximately $209 while the high-end 2.33GHz chip will initially fetch $637. A mid-range 2GHz model will come in just shy of $300.

The first wave of Merom chips are expected to begin making their way into Apple's high-end MacBook Pro notebooks this fall as part of a seasonal refresh just prior to the holiday shopping season.