Intel launches new CULV chips

May 25, 2010 // 12:50 p.m.

Tags: #core-i3 #core-i5 #core-i7 #culv #intel-slate #intel-tablet #ipad #slate #tablet

Intel appears to be serious about its commitment to ultra-thin laptops, having just announced a line of ultra-low voltage i3, i5,and i7 processors.

According to the announcement - via Engadget - the new 32nm process chips offer the ability for manufacturers to shrink the thickness of their designs by 32 percent while offering 32 percent better performance than previous editions - and each with a TDP of a mere 17W.

All the major new technologies found in the mainstream lines - including Turbo Boost Technology, which overclocks some cores and disables others when multiprocessing isn't a requirement, and integrated Intel HD graphics for the portable device that won't be playing the latest games - feature in the new range, while the power draw has been dropped by a pretty impressive 15 percent - although it's a shame they couldn't have managed 32 percent to keep the theme going.

While the new CULV chips are planned for ultra-slim notebooks from manufacturers including Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and MSI, there is another possible venue for the processors: a slate PC.

The guys over at CNet are claiming that Intel is looking to take on the iPad with a tablet reference design of its own - likely to use the new CULV 32nm chips. The claims come courtesy of Intel's vice president Mooly Eden, who stated that the company is "serious about trying to participate in the tablet market," and advised investors to keep their eyes peeled at Computex 2010 next month to see precisely what the company has planned.

While it's a toss-up as to whether Intel would be looking to use its latest Atom processors or the CULV i3, i5, or i7 ranges, Mooly's comments that "performance is relevant even in this [slate] category" combined with his declaration that people want their slate devices to multitask indicate that Intel could be looking to use their more powerful mobile chips to beat Apple's iPad in the performance game.

Whichever processors end up in an Intel slate, one thing is for certain: Apple is going to have a serious fight on its hands for the newly-formed slate market.

Are you pleased to see Intel coming out with new high-performance low-power chips, or should the company be concentrating on its Atom range for the low-power devices while ramping up the performance of its Core i3, i5, and i7 processors for the speed freaks? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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