Intel's low-power processor, code-named Diamondville, will initially be available only as a single-core processor. However, according to a source close to the company, Intel is planning a dual-core version.

The dual-core Diamondville will deliver better performance than the single-core version and will be for low-cost desktops, the source said.

The dual-core Diamondville chip take Intel into the low-cost desktop market to compete with vendors such as Via Technologies, which is providing low-cost processors in desktops priced at less than US$300 (£151) being sold by Everex.

The single-core Diamondville will initially be included in low-power notebooks that are fanless, the source said. The chips, which will be available around the middle of this year, will be manufactured using the 45-nanometre process and will likely contain 47 million transistors. It will include a 1.60GHz processor and 512KB cache.

Though processor pricing hasn't been set, the single-core Diamondville chip will be for laptops in the US$250 to $300 price range, the source said.

Diamondville is based on the Silverthorne chip architecture, which has a small die size and is designed for ultramobile devices. Although they are for different product segments, the Diamondville and Silverthorne processors fall under a single processor family that will receive an official brand name soon, the source said.