updated 03:50 pm EST, Thu January 31, 2008
Fujitsu Lenovo Use MBA CPU
The two unknown companies reported to be using the MacBook Air's processor are Fujitsu and Lenovo, CNET claims to have confirmed. The systems themselves have not been leaked but are expected to roll out "shortly," the alleged sources say. The extra-small packaging of the processor is nonetheless expected to offer a blend between the thinner and smaller designs of ultraportables and the performance of a standard notebook. The chips in use by Apple are clocked slower than most Intel mobile chips at 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz but include the 4MB of Level 2 cache from faster processors and consume much less power on average than current full-size chips.
While the Fujitsu model is uncertain, the closest candidate system from Lenovo for the previously custom Intel processors would be its leaked ThinkPad X300. However, initial plans have pointed to the 13.3-inch notebook using only a 2GHz low-voltage Core 2 Duo; a small-package processor would require both additional configuration levels as well as slightly modified mainboards that support the currently unique socket for the new processors.
Announcements by both Windows PC makers would step up competition for the MacBook Air but would only provide a momentary advantage among immediate rivals, as Intel's upcoming Montevina notebook platform is known to make the small package a standard feature of several processor models.