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Apple, the maker of iPod portable digital media player and Macintosh computers, plans to utilize Intel’s code-named Silverthorne central processing units (CPUs) next year. While the details about the exact device are uncertain, it is known that Silverthorne was designed specifically for so-called mobile Internet devices (MIDs).

According to AppleInsider web-site, Apple would “soon emerge as one of the largest supporters of Intel’s ‘Menlow’ mobile Internet device (MID) platform”. The Silverthorne processor is projected to be used in a number of devices from Apple due in 2008, though, there is no information, what kind of devices from the popular maker of gadgets will be based on Intel’s latest chips for mobile products.

The Menlow platform is based on Silverthorne microprocessor, which uses Intel Core 2 micro-architecture, and next-generation chipset, codenamed Poulsbo. Also featured on the Menlow-based designs are optional standardized communications capabilities such as Wi-Fi, 3G and WiMAX to enable more of an always-connected experience.

Currently companies like Asustek Computer, BenQ, Compal, Electrobit, HTC, Inventec and Quanta are developing their MIDs and UMPCs, whereas Intel is developing even more advanced reference platform for small Internet devices.

In fact, Apple iPhone is also positioned by its manufacturer as a mobile Internet device. Since the next-gen iPhone must have 3G connectivity among other improvements, potentially, it can be based on Intel Silverthorne. Besides, Apple might develop an ultra-mobile personal computer (UMPC) powered by Intel’s 45nm microprocessor.

Even though development of an UMPC would not fit into Apple’s general strategy even a couple of years ago, the release of such devices may make sense for the “new” Apple, which is expanding into various markets.

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