Intel Core i-series to go low voltage for ultra-thins

A refresh of Intel's ultra low-voltage processor line-up is coming, featuring integrated HD graphics and branded with the Core i3, i5 and i7 names

Intel will release new processors for ultra-thin laptops under its Core i-series branding, the chip manufacturer has revealed.

The company's recent standard-power Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 ranges are the successors to Intel's popular Core 2 Duo line. According to a product roadmap update released on Thursday, the same branding will be used for upcoming ultra-thin, or ultra low-voltage (ULV), laptop processors.

ULV processors tend to be more powerful than Intel's netbook-centric Atom line, but less powerful than standard-voltage laptop chips. Intel's main rival in this space is AMD, which was the first to launch an ultra-thin range, based on its Athlon Neo chip, at the start of 2009.

In the roadmap presentation, Intel PC client chief Stephen Smith described the introduction of 32nm Core i-series ULV chips as a "refresh" of the company's ultra-thin processor offerings, which will be ready in the second half of the year in time for the "back-to-school" period.

Intel will first roll out Core i7 and Core i5 "performance ultra-thin" processors, with lower-grade Core i3 and Core i5 chips following. Pricing and specific release dates have not yet been confirmed.

The new processors will feature integrated high-definition (HD) graphics capabilities in common with their higher-powered namesakes, Intel spokesman Mark Walsh told ZDNet UK.