Small process for small machines.
We all love Intel’s latest 45nm processors, but it has to be admitted that the £700-odd price tag attached to the QX9650 is a tad off-putting. What we need is a processor built on the same process, but designed for cheap, low-end machines. Surprise, surprise that is exactly what Intel has coming for us early next year according to slides leaked by website HKEPC.
Dubbed Diamondville the chip will be embedded directly onto a motherboard using either Intel’s own 945 chipset or similar solutions from, for example, SIS. The chips are also intended to run sans-cooling fans, giving a good indicator of the prospective power usage.
Interestingly, the platform into which the Diamondville CPU would be placed, named Shelton, is speculated to use 2-4GB of embedded flash memory in the style of the Asus Eee PC. The slide does indicate that the system won’t support Vista’s spangly Aero effects, but given the target market that shouldn’t matter anyway. This might have any number of interesting uses, such as in very small HTPCs or low cost solutions akin to the Eee PC. Indeed, Asus has already suggested it will be making a desktop version of the Eee PC: could Diamondville be earmarked for this? We’ll have to wait and see.