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Friday, January 11, 2008, 07:00 am PT (10:00 am ET)

Intel to grow next-gen notebook chip offerings

Intel Corp. plans to extend its upcoming Montevina platform to include two new classes of chips that will allow system manufacturers like Apple to build a variety of new and low-power notebook systems, according to a published report.

Due to hit the open market in June, the fifth-generation Centrino platform and Santa Rosa successor has long called for four classes of notebook chips, including a high-performance X-class, a standard T-class, a low-voltage L-class, and an ultra-low voltage U-class.

However, DigiTimes in a report published Friday claims the chipmaker will tack on a new P-class for power-optimized energy-efficient high-performance notebook systems that will sport a thermal design power (TDP) between 20-29 watts.

Additionally, the publication's sources say the Santa Clara-based firm will also add an S-class of microprocessors which will include a smaller package size aimed at small form factor products. The S-class will further be broken down into three segments — SP, SL and SU — which will sport TDP ranges of 20-29W, 12-19W , and 11.9W, respectively.

Traditionally, Apple has adopted chips from Intel's T-class of notebook processors for its MacBook lines. Chips in that class currently have a TDP of approximately 35W, including an upcoming array of first-gen Penryn chips destine to make their way into the Mac maker's mid-Winter notebook lineup.

When it arrives in June, Montevina will serve as the foundation for the second generation 45-nanometer notebook processors detailed above and also feature a faster 1,066MHz front-side bus and support for DDR3 memory.