Intel Ships Mobile Core 2 Duo Chips

Intel said it had begun shipping its Core 2 Duo mobile chips on Monday, clearing the way for the faster and more powerful processor to begin making its way into laptop computers in time for the holiday season.

The company announced that nearly 200 laptop models worldwide would incorporate the new chip -- code-named "Merom" -- into their designs. The processor is a mobile version of the "Conroe" desktop based Core 2 Duo.

A barrage of computer makers announced new Core 2 Duo laptops in conjunction with Monday's news from Intel. Samsung, Alienware, Dell, HP and Sotec were among those companies rolling out new models.

Apple is expected to replace the current Core Duo chip in its MacBook Pro portables with the Merom before the end of the year. The Core 2 Duo is socket-compatible with the original Core Duo, meaning manufacturing can simply swap the processors.

"In just one year we've taken extraordinary leaps in mobile and desktop computing with the launch of the Intel Core 2 Duo processor," Intel mobility senior vice president David Perlmutter said. "For laptops the new processor has doubled the performance, giving consumers and businesses an immersive mobile experience while keeping power consumption and battery life unchanged."

The Santa Clara, Calif. chipmaker says the dual-core chips are more powerful than their predecessors, yet consume less power and run at a lower operating temperature. These enhancements allow for smaller and thinner notebook designs as a less complex cooling system is required to keep the systems from running too hot.

Pricing for the Core 2 Duo Merom chips range from $209 to $637 USD in 1,000 unit quantities, Intel said.

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