Intel Introduces ULV Processor, Presses Thin and Light Laptops

Intel introduced three standard-volt processors, a ULV processor and a new chip set, plus emphasized growth of its My WiFi technology and WiMax. But its big message from the Computex 2009 show in Taipei was "thin is in."

From the Computex show in Taiwan, Intel has introduced three new standard-volt (SV) processors-T9900, P9700 and P8800-as well as an ultra-low voltage (ULV) processor-the SU2700-and the GS40 Express chip set, an extension of Intel's existing chip-set line that will enable cooler and smaller form factors based on the ULV processors.
Intel also introduced devices that can now wirelessly connect using Intel's My WiFi technology, which enables a notebook to act as a Wi-Fi access point, connecting devices such as a digital camera and a laptop.
"Despite the economic slowdown worldwide, 2009 continues to be a very strong year for mobile," Uday Marty, Intel's director of basic mobility platforms, told members of the press.
"This year, of course, a lot of that growth comes from netbooks. However, in the out years, 2010 and beyond, analyst consensus is that there will be a resumption of double-digit laptop growth."
As with televisions, personal music players and cell phones, the trend goes toward thin, said Marty. "And -thin is in' has finally caught up to computers."
It was by no means a new point, but one that was belabored to emphasize he meant thin laptops, not netbooks-the low price points of which have cut into laptop profits. Netbooks, he explained, are focused on Internet usage and communication, whereas laptops are associated with "doing more, and different levels of multitasking."
He cited a study showing that only 11 percent of notebook users are willing to take their netbooks out of their homes, though when offered an ultra-portable device, the number more than doubled, to approximately 23 percent.
"We believe this is an opportunity for the industry that's enabled by Intel's ULV processor lineup," said Marty, including ultra-thin laptops for consumers that are expected to range from $499 to $1,299.
"Ultra-thin laptops are the new phenomenon," he stressed. "This is about being very, very thin, very light."
Intel materials reiterated this description at a more specific 2 to 5 pounds and less than an inch thick.
Marty said Intel's Centrino 2 platform also "just got a lot better." The three SV processors will be energy-efficient Core 2 Duo processors, with the T9900 offering 3.06GHz, the first time Intel has taken a dual-core above 3GHz.
Consumers will be able to choose to have embedded WiMax or My WiFi technology in laptops with Intel Centrino 2 processor technology. "We're very excited about more and more devices joining the bandwagon, so to speak. A lot more devices will be supporting My WiFi technology and of course the WiMax buildup as it continues worldwide," said Marty.
"We believe that these announcements will enable significant improvements across all four vectors of mobility"-performance, battery life, form factor and wireless-"and enable a better user experience."
Computex will run June 2 through June 6.