According to AppleInsider, Apple plans to adopt Intel's ultra-mobile PC platform for a new generation of portable devices. Rumor has it that Apple has decided to use Intel's upcoming 45-nanometer "Silverthorne" chip in multiple new devices in 2008, with the most likely candidates being a next-gen iPhone and a UMPC.
Silverthrone was specifically designed for cellphones and UMPCs, using a mere tenth of the power consumption of a typical laptop chip while retaining the speed of a second-gen Pentium M. In addition to it being super-efficient, it's also much cheaper to manufacture than current mobile chips, which should lead to lower prices (or higher profit margins) for any devices it's placed into.
In any case, Apple seems pretty dedicated to the platform, and with "multiple devices" promised, that's gotta be more than just the 3G iPhone we all know is coming. Could it be a new tablet? An ultra-portable laptop? It could be something like the image up top, which is a prototype created by Intel that can run for 24 straight hours without needing a recharge thanks to the efficiency of Silverthorne. MacWorld is in a couple of weeks, so it's possible that something using the platform will be announced then. Time will tell, but it certainly hints at pretty exciting things.
Source: AppleInsider via Gizmodo