MacBook Air Suitable Montevina Chips Due Later This Year [Updated]
PC manufacturers have recently introduced a number of new ultra-thin laptops that share a similar profile to Apple's MacBook Air. The HP Voodoo Envy edges out the MacBook Air with a slightly smaller (0.7 vs .76 inches) maximum thickness and uses the same custom Intel processors (SP7700 and SP7500) that were designed specifically for Apple.
CNet reminds us that this custom processor is based on Intel's older Merom (65-nm) chip design. An Intel representative confirmed to CNet that a 45-nm Penryn/Montevina version of the chip is expected to be introduced later this year. That chip will be suitable for use in a future version of the MacBook Air. According to Wikipedia, the next version of this "SP" line of chips come in at 2.26GHz and 2.4GHz but with a slightly higher power consumption (25 watts vs 20 watts).
The MacBook Air was introduced at Macworld San Francisco 2008 and currently ships at 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz processor speeds.
Update: Several readers note that Apple may choose to take advantage of the improved power-efficiency of the Penryn processor and instead keep the MacBook Air's processor clocked at the same speed. The decreased power usage could extend the battery life of the MacBook Air.