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New Mac chip in pipeline could turn iPhone into a mini MacBook

It's the consensus of at least some Mac experts that a new series of mini MacBooks may be introduced at Macworld on January 15.This new product line, it is believed, will be facilitated by a new family of already-announced chips called Silverthorne.
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Written by Russell Shaw on

It's the consensus of at least some Mac experts that a new series of mini MacBooks may be introduced at Macworld on January 15.

This new product line, it is believed, will be facilitated by a new family of already-announced chips called Silverthorne.

Although Menlow, the first iteration of Silverthorne, will offer a series of processing efficiencies appropriate for these mini MacBooks, the second generation of Silverthorne chips will offer enablements that will facilitate more powerful iPhones.

This second generation of Silverthorne will be known as Moorestown. Due within a year, these chips will be built on Intel's 32-nanometer manufacturing process. This process, in turn, is hugely efficient in terms of power management as well as processing.

The processing-related win-win will be Silverthorne's support of an x86 instruction that when implemented, supports a whole slew of PC-related applications. And, as Business Week's Arik Hesseldahl suggests, Silverthorne Moorestown could be compelling enough to replace iPhone's current, non-x86, Samsung chip. "The possibility of squeezing an x86 chip like Silverthorne inside a future iPhone would make adapting software from a future Mac computer for Apple's handheld substantially easier," Arik writes. "(This assumes that Apple makes good on its promise to make the iPhone software development process easy and open.) Suddenly, the iPhone would be capable of running pretty much any Mac software with few, if any, programming changes."

And there you'll have the functional equivalent of a portable mini-MacBook- with phone, media, and rich software usage capabilities.

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