Feeds

Intel reveals next-gen ultrathin chips

'Thin is in'

Boost IT visibility and business value

Computex Declaring that in the notebook market "thin is in," Intel today announced a new ultra-low-voltage (ULV) processor, three new Core 2 Duo mobile processors, and a new low-power mobile chipset - and attempted a wee bit of benchmarking bait-and-switch regarding battery life.

The announcements were made in conjunction with Intel's participation in Computex Taipei, the Taiwanese mega-conference opening tomorrow that's second in size only to the ludicrously huge CeBIT of Hanover, Germany.

Few technical and no pricing specifics were provided in the webcast announcement, which was hosted by Uday Marty, Intel's director of product marketing in the company's Mobile Platforms Group. He did reveal, however, that the three new standard-voltage processors are the Core 2 Duo T9900, P9700, and P8800 and that the new ULV processor will carry on the time-tested Pentium name and be given the part number of SU2700

The new GS40 Express mobile chipset is a lower-power variant of the exisiting GS45 Express graphics and memory controller hub. The new chipset has an as-yet-unspecified lower TDP than the GS45's 12W and supports a frontside bus (FSB) of up to 800MHz and a graphics clock of 400MHz, as opposed to the GS45's 1066MHz FSB and 533MHz graphics clock.

The new processors - especially the Pentium SU2700 - will enable Intel's customers to create laptop entrants into what Marty called the current "'thin is in' phase" of personal electronic devices such as televisions, media players and smartphones. "'Thin is in' has finally caught up to computers," he said, adding that "very thin, very light systems are now going to be available worldwide for consumers [at] price points for you and me and people we know."

In other words, at prices below those of the $1,799 MacBook Air and $1,999 Dell Adamo. In contrast to those pricey offerings, Marty described ultrathins that will provide the "full PC experience" at prices ranging from $499 to $1,200.

Key to to enabling this industry-wide move to what Marty called "cool, sexy new form factors" will be increased battery life. To illustrate this trend, he claimed that testing has shown a notebook equipped with an existing 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo SU9400 and running Bapco's MobileMark 2007 benchmark on Vista Home Premium Edition to achieve the Holy Grail of battery-life performance: over eight hours of continuous use - 485 minutes, to be precise.

Unfortunately, the real "thin is in" battery-life story is less impressive. The notebook cited in Marty's test had a 56 Watt-hour (Wh) battery that's significantly more potent - and heavier - than those in the aforementioned MacBook Pro and Dell Adamo, which have 37Wh and 40Wh batteries, respectively, and which have claimed battery lives of 4.5 and 5 hours. The top-rung Adamo, by the way, has a processor and FSB speed equivalent to Intel's benchmarked 'book (the MacBook is faster).

Despite this exaggeration, however, Marty's central premise is solid. Lower-powered chips and chipsets will indeed power an upcoming generation of ultrathins. Intel, in fact, has over 40 OEM "design wins" with such major laptoppers as Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Toshiba.

Thin may very well be in, but it may take another platform generation before the "full PC experience" can be fully experienced for a full eight-hour day with a three-pound laptop. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.