Intel will soon bring hardware virtualization all the way down to its Celeron processor lineup, according to DigiTimes. The site has heard from folks at motherboard makers that a pair of new, VT-enabled Celerons are on track to launch next quarter.
The Celeron E3300 will run at 2.5GHz with 1MB of L2 cache, an 800MHz front-side bus speed, and a 65W power envelope. The Celeron E3200 will have similar specs but with a 2.4GHz clock speed. DigiTimes says these CPUs will supplant the Celeron E1000 series, meaning they'll likely be dual-core parts. (Even the $49 Celeron E1400 has a pair of 2GHz cores.)
This wouldn't be Intel's first attempt to bring virtualization to the masses. VT support has already shown up in new revisions of E7000-series Core 2 Duos and E8000-series Core 2 Quads. Intel might deny it, but these sudden changes sure seem related to the arrival of XP Mode in Windows 7.
In other Intel CPU news, DigiTimes writes that a 3.2GHz Core i7-960 processor will hit stores in the fourth quarter of the year. Intel will probably have released Lynnfield CPUs with potent Turbo Boost functionality by then, too.