According to a "product change notification" issued to customers, Intel said it plans to discontinue shipments of the dual-core PC chips after July 27, 2009. In addition, the chipmaker plans to stop shipping some single-core Celeron M processors after Jan. 26, 2009.
The Core 2 Duo Merom chips set to get the ax are the T7600, the T7400, the T7200, the T5600, and the T5500. Another Core 2 Duo chip that would be discontinued at the same time is the low-voltage L7200. Among Celeron processors, Intel has started phasing out the M520 and M530.
Intel plans to stop taking orders for the chips on May 26. The phase-out is part of Intel's routine discontinuance of older products as new ones are introduced, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Intel started shipping 45-nanometer chips, code-named Penryn, late last year. The number refers to the manufacturing process that enables Intel to shrink the size of transistors on a processor. This means more transistors on a single piece of silicon, which boosts performance without dramatic increases in power consumption. Intel is in the process of migrating its whole product line from 65-nanometer to the smaller size.
Rival Advanced Micro Devices is in the process of gearing up manufacturing for 45-nanometer chips, which the company plans to introduce this year.
Intel was not the first to ship 45-nanometer chips. Japanese consumer electronics company Panasonic started making 45-nanometer video codec chips last June for use in high-definition video displays.
IBM also shipped a 45-nanometer chip before Intel as an application-specific integrated circuit -- or ASIC. ASIC is a catch-all for chips that are used to do other things than running PC software. An example would be an ASIC used to run a cellular phone.