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CES: Intel's Mooly Eden talks up the practical side of ultrabooks

Virtues of notebook variant go beyond benchmarks
Mon Jan 09 2012, 21:19

CHIPMAKER Intel gave its attention at the CES conference to promoting the real-world benefits of ultrabooks.

The company highlighted a design and marketing effort to shift its focus from benchmarks and statistics to examples of real-world capabilities and applications that will be improved by what it hopes will become a growing ultrabook market.

Ultrabooks, which combine high-performance chips with ultra-thin hardware designs, have been an area of particular interest for Intel in recent months. Once limited to high-end notebooks, the market niche is expanding to include lower cost designs and hybrid systems that include touchscreen tablet components.

As part of that expansion, Intel sees a need to better connect with the needs of consumers and digital content creators.

Mooly Eden, general manager of Intel's PC client group, told reporters that the company is looking to get a better picture of how users both consume and generate content and how Intel can develop products to better accommodate those tasks.

"People would like to create in order to express themselves," Eden explained.

"People do not want to wait for the computer, they want the computer to wait for them."

Eden also pointed to several of the key features of the Ivy Bridge platform. The platform will add support for DirectX 11 and contactless near field communications (NFC) that will allow users to bind their notebooks with a credit card, creating an automated yet secure method for online purchases.

Additionally, the rollout of Windows 8 promises to add a number of touch features for Ultrabooks. Eden predicted there will be several convertible tablets that combine touchscreen and multi-touch gesture support with hardware keyboards.

"People do not want to give away the real keyboard, but they want to experience the best of both worlds," Eden said.

"People will use touchscreen in their notebook and in a few weeks you will be surprised that you could do anything without it."

The continued development of the ultrabook concept has also brought a number of architectural and design challenges. With vendors increasingly looking to lighten and slim down their designs, Intel has had to take new approaches to such things as battery and processor socket designs.

The company has had to work on not only improving designs but also making the new components affordable to build and deploy.

"The big challenge is if you want to take a 32 or 40mm notebook and transition it to 18mm, there are many components that need to be redesigned and manufactured in a high enough volume to drive the cost down." µ


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