Ultrabooks Uncovered | Technology@Intel

The world of computing is in the midst of a sea change. Some might call it a “strategic inflection point.” You can see it all around, especially in the massive growth of device types — smartphones, tablets, hybrid devices, e-readers, netbooks, Chromebooks. It’s a time of great creative ferment. We at Intel love this. The variety of all of these different devices is changing how people think about computing. In terms of the devices themselves, we are working hard to bring the benefits of Intel technology not only to improve the overall mobile experience, but to revolutionize it.
In case you didn’t catch it, one of the more interesting recent disclosures related to this happened at Computex last month in Taiwan. Intel’s Sean Maloney and Mooly Eden provided further details on the significant changes Intel is making to the Intel Core processor roadmap to enable a new mainstream line of mobile computers, called Ultrabook. This new breed of devices will combine best in class performance, responsiveness and security in thin and light, elegant form factors. Eventually you’ll think of an Ultrabook as a tablet when you want it, a PC when you need it. This is an historic change that we believe will redefine the computing experience. We’ve been mapping out these changes over the past several months and they aren’t trivial. They will impact the physical shape and capabilities of personal computing devices and require substantial changes to the way Intel and its partners design, produce and market devices and their components. Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini said in our most recent earnings announcementthat he’s pleased with the industry response and customer commitments around this new product category. Sean and Mooly explained that Ultrabooks will arrive in phases. Phase 1 was kicked off when Intel introduced its latest Ultra-Low Voltage 2nd Generation Intel Core processors in June that will bring new systems to shelves this holiday season. Phase 2 centers around the next generation Intel microarchitecture code name Ivy Bridge processors scheduled for availability in systems in the first half of 2012. Laptops based on Ivy Bridge will bring improved power efficiency, smart visual performance, increased responsiveness and enhanced security. Faster I/O such as USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt technologies are also part of Intel’s ongoing work to drive the PC platform forward. Intel microarchitecture code name Haswell is the third phase toward accelerating the Ultrabook and reinventing the capabilities of the laptop in ultra thin and light, responsive and secure designs. With Haswell, Intel will transform the computing experience with more power efficient processors that allow a more dynamic experience in insanely sleek systems.
In late 2011, you’ll begin to see systems that offer:

  • Thin/light designs
    • Less than 21 mm thick – some much thinner than even that.
  • Ultra-fast start up
    • Intel Rapid Start Technology gets your system up and running faster from even the deepest sleep, saving time and battery life.
      • PC wakes up almost instantly – Quick access to your data and applications
  • Extended battery life
    • Ultrabooks will offer 5 hours of battery life even in the sleekest form factors with some systems delivering 8 hours or more for all-day usage.
  • Security enabled

Intel has a strong track record in delivering innovation and growth in computing by employing our core assets of architecture, engineering, and manufacturing leadership. We transitioned to multimedia instructions with Pentium in 1995 and the mobile PC market with Centrino in 2003. We are confident we have the right set of technologies to influence a major change once again.
Here’s the thing: We are totally jazzed about all of this. It’s a good time to be working in this industry and it’s awesome time to be working at Intel. It’s also a fantastic time to be a user of technology – never before have we had so many choices of devices to suit our personal needs and lifestyles. If you think today’s variety of computing devices is exciting, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Speaking of which, what new features, designs or experiences would you like to see from your future mobile device? Would it look much like the laptops or tablets of today or would it be something completely different? What would you call it? We’d like to hear from you!
Source: Technology@Intel.

DailyTech – VIA, WTI Sell Stakes in S3 Graphics to HTC

Apple might be in HTC’s cross hairs

The GPU will become increasingly important as mobile phone firms seek to squeeze more and more performance out of smartphones for gaming and streaming of video. VIA has announced today that it has sold its stake in S3 Graphics to HTC. HTC is well known in the Android smartphone and tablet realm.
VIA, WTI, and HTC have signed an agreement that will see all shares in S3 go to HTC. VIA acquired S3 in 2001. The terms of the agreement show HTC will pay $300 million for all of the outstanding shares of S3 Graphics. VIA will receive $147 million of that amount and VIA’s current partner WTI Investment International will receive $153 million.

The capital gain for VIA will be $37 million with $115 million paid-in capital for the transaction. The proposed transaction has been approved by the boards of VIA, WTI, and HTC. WTI became a partner with VIA in S3 in 2005 when S3 Graphics became undercapitalized.

We can assume that HTC wants the mobile graphics company to improve on the graphics processing in its smartphones and to be able to design and build its own graphics processors for its products.

“The transaction would allow VIA to monetize a portion of its rich IP portfolio, yet retain its graphics capabilities to support the development and sale of its processors and chipsets,” said Tzu-mu Lin, Senior Vice President and Board Director of VIA. “We wish to thank WTI for its capital contribution to support S3 Graphics since 2005.”

Perhaps more interesting about the deal is the fact that Apple was recently found to infringe on two patents held by S3 Graphics. This will put HTC in the position to possible force a large settlement out of Apple or a patent agreement. Apple’s iPhone is the largest competitor to Android smartphones that HTC produces.
Source: DailyTech.

DailyTech – Google Introduces Possible Facebook Rival: “Google+”

Google+ is available on the Android Market and the mobile web starting today, and will be available on the App Store soon


Since Facebook’s launch in 2004, it has established itself as an unrivaled social networking superpower. No one has been able to match its broad audience and number of features, but now, Google will give it a shot with a new project called Google+.

Google made the argument that existing online interactions are awkward and needs a “fix.” For instance, in current instant messaging systems, someone may seem available on the list, but when you actually message them and they don’t respond, you’re not sure if they’re away or not interested. Also, Google made mention that users mainly want to connect with certain people at certain times, but current social networking systems put everything out there at once and makes everything you say a “public performance.”

To remedy these issues, Google has created Google+ which offers four key features that were created specifically for the user: Circles, Sparks, Hangouts, and Mobile.

Circles allow users to create multiple categories of family and friends, each within their separate circle. For instance, one circle can be the family circle, another can be best friends, another can be the basketball team you play on, and so on. This allows the user to share what they want with whom they want instead of sharing everything across the board.

Sparks is an online sharing engine that allows users in certain circles to share information based on their interests. For instance, if you have a circle of friends that are into comic books, Sparks provides relevant articles, videos and photos that give you and your circle of comic book-loving friends something to discuss and enjoy together. It allows you to “spark” a conversation. It also filters and delivers the most “contagious” content on the web, so the need for time-consuming searches is eliminated.

Hangouts is Google+’s version of instant chat, but is a face-to-face chat instead. Google claims that instant messaging is too intrusive, and that it always disrupts someone in the middle of something. But with Hangouts, users can partake in casual meet-ups in a live multi-person video whenever they have some free time, which lets other users know that you’re really there (not idle) and interested in hanging out.

Mobile is aimed to allow users to communicate on the move. Features offered in Google+’s mobile realm are ways of marking your current location, an “Instant Upload” feature that stores photos from your phone in the cloud and allows you to decide if you want to share them on the web, and a “Huddle” feature that makes it easy for a user to use group messaging to get a group of friends together or exchange information.

Google+ was built from the ground up to revolve around the user, and to revolutionize the social networking experience by making it more similar to how we actually communicate. Google is only calling it a project for now, and while it seems interesting enough, only time will tell if it can stand up to Facebook’s level.

For instance, Facebook already has some of the features offered above, such as Facebook’s Lists and Groups that acts much like Google+’s Circles. Yet Google+’s Circles offers an easy drag and drop feature that may prevail over Facebook’s system. In addition, Facebook has pages of interest that users can “like” and share information regarding that topic on that page, but Facebook’s pages can have thousands of users that you do not know associated with that interest page, where Google+’s Sparks allows topics to be discussed among you and your circle alone.

Of course, both networking systems have a mobile setup and video chats. They also look very much alike, according to the screenshot Business Insider provided after being invited to the new field trial.

Google+ is available on the Android Market and the mobile web starting today, and will be available on the App Store soon. Right now, Google is conducting a field trial (hence why its called a project right now) where users can use the new features and let Google know what they think and what needs to be changed.
Source: DailyTech.