Intel reportedly is offering incentives to PC makers that adopt the "ultrabook" concept that the chip maker introduced in May.
officials reportedly are offering financial incentives to systems makers in hopes of enticing systems them to adopt the new "ultrabook" mobile-device concept
According to a
report on the Website DigiTimes
is hoping that the financial incentives and a new marketing program will
encourage top-tier notebook PC makers to embrace the ultrabook
, which the giant chip maker introduced in May during a speech by
Executive Vice President Sean Maloney during the Computex
. However, OEMs are taking a conservative approach to the
ultrabook idea, according to the story.
concept calls for very thin and light devices that offer the performance and
capabilities of traditional notebooks and features found in tablets, such as
high responsiveness and, down the road, touch-screens. Maloney described
devices that would come in at less than 0.8 inches thick and at prices lower
than $1,000. He predicted that by the end of 2012, 40 percent of all notebooks
shipped would be ultrabooks. Intel last month rolled out three
new Core processors
aimed at the segment.
and LG Electronics were among the first systems makers at the Computex show to
unveil plans for ultrabooks, with Asus Chairman Jonney Shih going onstage with
Maloney to introduce the company's Core-based UX21 ultrabook, which is expected
to hit the market in September. Lenovo had its IdeaPad U300S on display, as did
LG with its P220.
President Jim Wong
said his company also has plans for an ultrabook, saying
he believed the concept would help bolster a notebook market that is seeing
continued strength in the commercial space, but is struggling among consumers
due to such factors as the growth of tablets and last year's release of
Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system, which fueled huge demand for notebooks.
With so many consumers buying new notebooks last year, demand this year has
dwindled, analysts have said.
the July 4 DigiTimes report, Intel is hoping to grow more OEM interest in
ultrabooks. Quoting "sources from downstream notebook players," Intel
is providing "a significant budget to supports its partners
OEMs are taking a conservative approach to the idea. Intel officials in 2009
unveiled their idea of the CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) thin notebooks. It
was an idea that never took hold with the market, and now such ultra-thin
devices face strong competition from tablets, driven by Apple's wildly successful
There also is
concern about the high price of ultrabooks, with some vendors-many of whom have
begun testing ultrabooks-questioning whether they can come down as low as the
$1,000 level Intel's Maloney spoke of, according to DigiTimes. Most vendors
want to see what Asus' UX21 will do in the market this fall before deciding
whether to jump into the ultrabook space right now.
are just one in a number of moves Intel is making to gain traction in the
booming smartphone and tablet markets, which currently are dominated by chips
designed by ARM Holdings and made by the likes of Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung and
the first half of 2012, PCs and servers powered by Intel's upcoming "Ivy
Bridge" chips will start hitting the market. The Ivy Bridge Core
processors will be the first to include the vendor's "Tri-Gate" 3D
transistor architecture, which Intel officials have said will drive up
performance while greatly reducing power consumption. After they start
appearing in PCs and servers, Ivy Bridge chips will make their way into tablets
and smartphones, they said. Ivy Bridge will be followed in 2013 by
"Haswell," which will offer even greater energy efficiency, cutting
power consumption by half of what it is today.
Atom chips, Intel officials in April rolled out the Atom Z670 "Oak
Trail" platform for tablets, and are planning the "Cedar Trail"
tablet platform for the back end of 2011. "Medfield," a chip platform
for smartphones, should be in devices that hit the market in early 2012.
Intel reportedly also will have another
tablet-focused platform, dubbed "Clover Trail,"
out in time next year for the release of Microsoft's
Windows 8 operating system, which will be more tablet-friendly.