Processor prices have plunged far enough to take quad-core desktop offerings as low as $190, but the notebook space is still the exclusive realm of single- and dual-core CPUs. The reasons for that split aren't hard to grasp: quad-core chips consume significantly more power than their dual-core offerings, making them largely unsuitable for mobile systems.
Despite the power constraints, Intel is preparing to throw a quad-core processor into its mobile lineup in the third quarter of this year, according to DigiTimes. The Taiwanese site says the upcoming CPU will be branded with the Core 2 Extreme badge and will be priced at a hefty $1,038 in thousand-unit quantities. Nonetheless, the processor's specifications should be quite tempting. If DigiTimes has its facts straight, the mobile Core 2 Extreme QX9300 will run at 2.53GHz with a 1066MHz front-side bus and 12MB of L2 cache, but it will have a thermal envelope of only 45W.
Considering the timing and 1066MHz FSB, the QX9300 will likely complement the expected Centrino 2 mobile platform (a.k.a. Montevina). This new platform is said to feature 4-series chipsets with support for 1066MHz FSBs, DDR3 RAM, DirectX 10 graphics, HDMI, and DisplayPort. Earlier reports suggest Montevina is scheduled to hit the market in June.
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