In order to gain some perspective about what Apple may be planning for future MacBooks, Dan Turner at Computerworld tried to unravel the zoo of Intel code names for next generation CPUs and chipsets.
First, one has to understand which CPUs work with the corresponding chip sets, such as the Santa Rosa. The chip set "encompass[es] the CPU plus the motherboard chips as well as the hardware for wireless connectivity," Mr. Turner explained.
In the near term, there is the curiously named Core i7 candidate for Apple, previously code named "Nehalem." From there, things can get even more complicated, and Apple may elect to chose variations for its own hardware implementation.
Compounding the issue is the fact that Intel is cramming more and more cores into its low power designs intended for notebooks. That, in turn, makes it tough for a manufacturer like Apple to differentiate its desktop line.
The article gives a good accounting of the options Apple has to choose from, even if no one knows for sure what the next generation MacBooks will have to offer.