Intel braces for new wave of mobile computers
During the opening keynote speech at Computex, one of the world’
s largest technology trade shows, Intel Executive Vice President Sean Maloney outlined the significant changes Intel is making to enable this new category, and reiterated Intel’
s push to accelerate the pace of innovation for system-on-chips (SoCs) for netbooks, smartphones, tablets, and other companion devices.
“ Computing is taking many forms,” said Maloney. “ Technology innovation is a catalyst, and we believe the changes Intel is making to its roadmaps, together with strong industry collaboration, will bring about an exciting change in personal computing over the next few years.”
Intel’ s vision is to enable a new user experience by accelerating a new class of mobile computers. These computers will marry the performance and capabilities of today’ s laptops with tablet-like features and deliver a highly responsive and secure experience, in a thin, light and elegant design.
Maloney described three key phases in the company’ s strategy to accelerate the vision, which begins to unfold with the company’ s latest 2nd Generation Intel Core processors. This family of products will enable thin, light and beautiful designs that are less than 20mm thick. ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih joined Maloney on stage to showcase the company’ s new ultra-thin laptop based on the latest 2nd Generation Intel Core processor.
“ At ASUS, we are very much aligned with Intel’ s vision of Ultrabook,” said 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 PC.”
Unveiling Ivy Bridge
Building on the latest 2nd Generation Intel Core technology, Maloney outlined the next generation Intel processor family codenamed “
which is scheduled for availability in systems in the first half of 2012. Laptops based on “
will bring improved power efficiency, smart visual performance, increased responsiveness and enhanced security.
“ Ivy Bridge” is the first high-volume chip based on Intel’ s 22 nanometer (nm) manufacturing technology that uses a revolutionary 3-D transistor design called Tri-Gate announced in May.
Maloney also highlighted the fact that more people and devices connecting to the Internet will lead to unprecedented growth in cloud-based services for storage, synchronisation and entertainment. He said that one new Intel-based server is needed for roughly every additional 600 new smartphones or 122 new tablets connecting to the Internet.
He also reiterated the company’
vision of a world of interoperable “
clouds that allow enterprises to share data securely across public and private clouds;
networks that allow the movement of workloads between servers in the data center for better utilisation and energy efficiency and “
clouds that know what types of applications, commands and processing.
Maloney highlighted key milestones and additional details on upcoming generations of Intel Atom processor-based platforms for tablets, netbooks and smartphones. The Atom processor will outpace Moore’ s Law, accelerating from 32nm through 22nm to 14nm within three successive years. Having a cadence of a new-process-generation every year will result in significant reduction in transistor leakage, lower active power and an increase of transistor density to enable more powerful smartphones, tablets and netbooks with more features and longer battery life.
Reaching its 100 million-unit milestone this month, Intel is preparing its next-generation netbook platform, codenamed “ Cedar Trail.” “ Cedar Trail” is the first netbook platform based on Intel’ s 32nm technology, and will enable ultra-thin, fanless designs with new capabilities such as Intel Rapid Start technology which provides fast resume, Intel Smart Connect Technology which enables an always updated experience even during standby, Intel Wireless Display and PC Synch, which let users wirelessly update and synchronize documents, content and media across multiple devices.
In addition, the new platform is expected to enable more than 10 hours of battery life and weeks of standby. “
will support leading operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, Google Chrome and MeeGo.
In addition, Maloney showcased more than 10 tablets, running on three different operating systems, that are available today based on the Intel Atom processor Z670. The platform already has more than 35 design wins since its launch in April, with several convertibles, sliders and other innovative designs on shelves now and more coming through the rest of the year.
Maloney also discussed “ Medfield,” Intel’ s first purpose-built 32nm platform for smartphones and tablets. “ Medfield” has been optimized for both low power and high performance and will deliver long use-time, rich media and gaming, and advanced imaging capabilities. To illustrate this point in tablets, Intel showcased a “ Medfield” design running Google Android 3.0 (“ Honeycomb” ) for the first time. In production later this year, the platform will enable sub-9mm designs that weigh less than 1.5 pounds for tablet designs in market the first half of 2012. It will support a range of operating systems including Android and MeeGo.
According to Maloney, “ The work Intel is doing with the Intel Atom processor roadmap, coupled with the significant changes we are making to our Intel Core processor roadmaps, will continue to enhance Intel’ s ability to deliver complete hardware solutions with a choice of software platforms across a full spectrum of computing - from back-end servers that power the cloud to the billions of devices that access the cloud.”