Intel plans for new ‘Ultrabook’ laptops


31 May 2011

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Intel defined a new consumer mobile computer category called the “Ultrabook,” bringing a more responsive and secure performance to even thinner and lighter form factors.

Ultrabook

Speaking at consumer electronics show Computex in Taiwan, Intel Corporation executive vice-president Sean Maloney said the Ultrabooks will fuse the performance of today’s laptops with tablet-like features and will deliver a responsive and secure experience. Along with improved performance, this category will feature thin designs.

Intel believes that by the end of 2012, 40pc of the consumer laptop market segment will be made up of Ultrabooks.

Maloney said Intel will undergo three phases to implement this vision. The first involves the latest 2nd Generation Intel Core processors, which will allow for designs that are less than 20mm thick with mainstream prices under US$1,000.

The first of these Ultrabook devices will be seen at the end of 2011 in the form of the UX21, the ASUS Ultrabook.

"At ASUS, we are very much aligned with Intel’s vision of Ultrabook," said ASUS chairman Jonney Shih.

"Our customers are demanding an uncompromised computing experience in a lightweight, highly portable design that responds to their needs quickly. Transforming the PC into an ultra-thin, ultra-responsive device will change the way people interact with their PCs."

The second phase involves the next-generation Intel processor family, Ivy Bridge, which will arrive in the first half of 2012. This range will bring improved power efficiency, increased responsiveness and better security. It will also bring complimentary USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt technologies.

The third phase will involve planned products called “Haswell,” which will arrive in 2013. It will change the laptop’s thermal design point by reducing the microprocessor power to half of today’s design point.

Intel Atom Processors

Maloney also said Intel was preparing for its next-generation netbook platform codenamed Cedar Trail, which will allow for ultra-thin fanless designs.

New features will include a faster resume, the ability to wirelessly update and synchronise documents across multiple devices and more than 10 hours of battery life. Cedar Trail will support operating systems such as Windows, Google Chrome OS and MeeGo.

Medfield was also discussed, which is aimed at smartphones and tablets. Supporting Android and MeeGo, it is optimised for low power and high performance. Medfield will allow for sub-9nm designs that weigh less than 1.5 pounds for tablets in the first half of 2012.

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