Notebooks Get Core 2 Duo to Go

PC makers are expected to unleash Core 2 Duo notebooks at the end of August.

Core 2 Duo notebooks will take a bow next week.

PC makers are expected to announce the availability of new notebook PCs that contain Intels Core 2 Duo notebook processor on Aug. 28, according to sources familiar with Intels plans, fulfilling a promise made by the chip maker at its July 27 Core 2 Duo launch.

The Core 2 Duo for notebooks, otherwise known by the code name "Merom," offers buyers a performance upgrade—an increase of about 20 percent, according to Intel—but holds power consumption to nearly the same level as its predecessor, the Core Duo.

The arrival of Core 2 Duo notebooks, the latest step in the multi-staged introduction of the chip family, is one of the most important rollouts in some time for Intel, which has seen its market share fall and its inventories rise of late.

Core 2 Duo notebooks, Core 2 Duo corporate desktops sold under the banner of Intels vPro brand are expected to arrive in early September.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read how Intel plans to market both Core 2 Duo and Pentium chips for desktops.

Given that the switch from Core Duo to Core 2 Duo processors is a fairly straightforward, numerous notebook PCs are expected to arrive both for businesses and consumers.

The Core 2 Duo fits into existing notebook chassis and requires only a system software upgrade to work, Intel has said.

Intel has said it would offer a range of five Core 2 Duo notebook processors to start. The chips model numbers are T5500, T5600, T7200, T7400 and T7600, and they range in speed from 1.66GHz to 2.33GHz, the company has said. Intel has not yet released pricing, however.

Intels Core Duo chips offer the same range of clock speeds and consume about 31 watts of power, while the Core 2 Duo will consume about 34 watts.

A number of PC manufacturers have said they will offer Core 2 Duo notebooks in the near future.

Some of the manufacturers expected to offer Core 2 Duo notebooks include Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo Group.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read about Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices dual-core notebook chip.

Still, the first Core 2 Duo machines are expected to be based on existing designs. Major changes and redesigned systems arent expected to arrive en masse until the fist half of 2007, when Intel plans to launch a new notebook chip platform dubbed Santa Rosa.

Santa Rosa is scheduled to arrive in the first half of 2007 and will combine Core 2 Duo processors with a new supporting chip set code-named "Crestline" and an 802.11n wireless module, which is code-named "Kedron," Intel has said.

Santa Rosa will also incorporate Intels AMT (Active Management Technology) and Robson Technology, which uses flash memory to augment a notebooks hard drive and thus allow it to boot more quickly and save on power by spinning down the hard drive for long periods of time.

An Intel spokesperson declined to comment for this story.

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