AMD's new Athlon Neo processor may soon get some competition. CNet News claims to have learned from "Intel sources" at CES that Intel will announce a Core-based CPU for cheap, ultra-thin laptops later this year. Intel will reportedly target systems much cheaper than the MacBook Air, ThinkPad X300, and similar laptops.
The future Core processor will be a "tweak" of current ultra-low-voltage Core 2 chips, CNet News reports, and it will have a package size of just 22 x 22 mm. Like the Athlon Neo, you may see this newcomer in laptops less than an inch thick with price tags ranging from $700 to $900—a price range where current, high-end Atom-based laptops start to look a bit under-powered. A full-blown Core CPU should offer punchier performance than the Atom, albeit likely at the cost of higher power draw.
The Athlon Neo made its debut last week. The first iteration of this new single-core CPU runs at 1.6GHz with a 15W power envelope and a 27 x 27-mm footprint. HP adopted it in its dv2 12.1" notebook, which will cost $699 and feature Mobility Radeon HD 3410 discrete graphics and Windows Vista.