Intel claims it’s halved laptop display power slurpage

One-watt displays promised, plus new Optane-for-PC and a 5.0 GHz CPU

Intel today staged its annual keynote at Taiwan’s Computex tech-fest and revealed a new “Low Power Display Technology” that the company said can halve the power consumption of a laptop’s screen.

Chipzilla’s schtick this year is going from “PC to Personal Contribution Platform” and adapting the PC so that users “can make their most meaningful contributions” with the machines, instead of with their phones or fondleslabs.

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We’ll just let those phrases sit there and explain that Intel plans to execute these plans in five ways, one of which is improving battery life through the new display tech. Intel’s senior veep and general manager of its Client Computing Group Gregory Bryant said the tech has been offered to display-makers, Sharp and Innolux have adopted it, and that it’s hoped to deliver “all-day battery life” once it arrives in northern autumn. Intel officials said the tech will be baked into displays, will need an Intel display adapter and drivers and that it can already demo “a Dell XPS 13 which gets 20 hours battery life already reaching over 24 hours.” Chipzilla claimed other laptops could hit 28 hours of battery life.

Intel also teased new Whiskey Lake U-series and Amber Lake Y-series CPUs that integrate gigabit Wi-Fi, and are said to offer “up to double-digit performance Gains” for the mobile devices they’re designed to power.

New X-series and S-series desktop processors are also in the works, the former a 28-core affair for workstations and gamers. S'funny that a 28-core part is now in the works after AMD hit the the scene with 16-core Ryzen Threadripper chips.

The new CPUs fill Intel’s promise to deliver “ultimate performance.” So does a new version of the Optane SSD 905P in the M.2 form factor, which hits 960GB and 480GB in other forms.

Another goal is “connectivity” which will come from Sprint signing up to sell 5G-equipped PCs in Q1 2019, plus ten new 4G-modem-packing PCs due this year. Given that Intel expects 140 new PC designs to use the new U-and-A-series CPUs, that hardly represents amazing momentum.

Intel also “adaptability” but had nothing new to say on that other than offering support for fast PCs that “provide differentiated aesthetics and peripherals, upgradable form-factors, and end-to-end technology optimized for the creator workflow”. Or in other words, modern workstations.

The final theme Intel reckons will get you interested in new PCs sooner rather than later is “Intelligence” thanks to its recently-released OpenVINO SDK and OEMs like ASUS building dual-screen laptops that put it to work.

Intel knows there’s nothing wrong with modern PCs and that’s the problem: users will put up with ‘em for a year or three longer than used to be the case, which means that while the world’s PC fleet remains about constant the refresh rate is slow.

But there are signs of life: analyst firm IDC last week opined that “Convertible and ultraslim notebooks, as well as detachable tablets continue to be bright spots in a challenging market.” And by “challenging” IDC means “expected to decline 3.5 per cent year over year in 2018, which is an even steeper decline from the 2.7 per cent in 2017.”

“Looking forward the category is expected to drop at a five-year compound annual growth rate of -1.8 per cent.”

Intel remains the dominant provider of PC silicon. But AMD is resurgent and Qualcomm is making its play. And all three are chasing a shrinking pie. ®




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