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New Thunderbolt MacBook Airs Begin Production Next Week

New Thunderbolt MacBook Airs Begin Production Next Week

Earlier today, we reported on new MacBook Airs reportedly being available in June. We’ve now heard via AppleInsider that in fact these very machines are set to enter production next month.

May could be quite a month for the MacBook Air, with the most recent rumors claiming it to enter production next month for a June release. The MacBook Air, which may well be adding Thunderbolt technology to its awesome list of features, continues to maintain impressive sales.

Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has proven sources within the Cupertino-based company’s Far Eastern supply chain, said the following (via AppleInsider)

Kuo tells AppleInsider that his latest round of checks with suppliers and system builders in the region reveals that MacBook Air shipments are set to rebound during the current calendar quarter, fueled by an upgrade to Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge microprocessors, integrated Intel graphics, and the expected adoption of the new Thunderbolt high-speed I/O technology that made its debut on MacBook Pros earlier this year.

Specifically, he said the new models will “go to mass production in late May,” which corroborates an earlier report that cited reliable sources as saying Apple would be ready to publicly announce and ship to consumers MacBook Airs with Sandy Bridge processors during following month of June.

The upgrade, which may well bring Thunderbolt technology to the MacBook Air (which would be pretty incredible, if I do say so myself), would certainly provide a significant boost to MacBook Air sales, possibly leading to a 5-10% boost in overall notebook shipments for Apple.

The upgrade will provide a much-needed speed and performance boost to the Air, supporting up to 8GB of RAM, as well as improved power consumption, due to new, much lower-voltage 32nm Core i5 and i7 chips.

In moving to Intel’s 32-nanometer (nm) Sandy Bridge architecture, the mid-2011 MacBook Airs will jettison two-year-old Penryn-based 45-nm Core 2 Duo chips for the chipmakers’ new line (below) of low-voltage and ultra-low-voltage Core i5 and Core i7 chips, which sport between 3MB and 4MB of Smart Cache and support a theoretical maximum of 8GB of internal system memory.