Intel: New Laptop Chips, New Ultrabooks To Debut At IDF
When the Apple faithful convenue at the Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts in San Francisco next Wednesday to witness the unveiling of iPhone 5, the buzz will undoubtedly drown out everything in the vicinity. That’s got to be at least a little irritating to Intel, which will holding a pretty impressive shindig of its own next week, as 4,000 people descend on Moscone West – a few blocks down Howard Street from Apple’s venue – for the Intel Developer Forum.While it would be almost impossible for Intel or anyone else to generate the sound and fury that Apple will produce for the iPhone 5 launch, Intel will actually be making some impressive news – and noise – of its own. Gadget hounds in town for the Apple launch might want to mosey down the street for a look-see.
Kirk Skaugen, who took over as general manager of Intel’s PC client group earlier this year, said in an interview with FORBES that this year’s IDF will focus specifically on ultrabooks, the super thin, lightweight laptops inspired by the Apple Macbook Air. He notes that there are about 40 ultrabooks in the market now, but that the range of options in the ultrabook form factor is about to expand dramatically. He expects over 140 designs to be in the market by the end of 2012, including over 40 ultrabooks with touch screens, designed to take advantage of the touch features included in Microsoft Windows 8, which launched officially on October 26.
Skaugen says almost every PC manufacturer will be showing new ultrabook designs - Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Sony, Toshiba, and others. In particular, he says, IDF will feature the launch of a new line of chips targeted specifically at ultrabook designs, code-named Haswell.
Skaugen notes that development of the new chips has gone better than expected. In particular, he says the new chips will be more power efficient than previous generations, operating at just 10 watts, down from 35 watts two generations ago, and 17 watts now. The upshot, he says, is that PC makers can produce chips that are even thinner and with better battery life. He notes that the new chips will support a Windows 8 feature called “connected standby,” in which your PC never actually sleeps. Shut the cover, and it continues to operate in a low power state, receiving emails, alerts and news feeds. Open the lid, and everything is available and up to date.