Intel have announced general availability of the small-footprint Core 2 Duo CPU it created especially for Apple's MacBook Air ultraportable. The chipset, based around a Merom processor and Intel 965 chipset, is around 60-percent smaller than a traditional processor and controller. Lenovo and HP have already signed up to use the new silicon, in their X301 and 2530p notebooks respectively.
The 1.8GHz SL9400 and the 1.6GHz SL9300 both use a 1066MHz FSB and have 6MB of L2 cache; they also have a TDP of 17W. Meanwhile, Intel will also launch two processors with even lower TDPs: the 1.4GHz SU9400 and 1.2GHz SU9300 both demand just 10W. They each have an 800MHz FSB and 3MB of L2 cache.
Latest rumors about the MacBook Air, however, did not include any of these processors; instead, Apple was tipped to answer critics complaining about the ultraportable being underpowered by fitting a Penryn-class Core 2 Duo chip. However road warriors thinking most about battery life will undoubtedly be keen to see what extended run-time will be available from notebooks based around the 10W chips.