At Computex Taipei 2009 trade-show Intel Corp. unveiled its low-power central processing units (CPUs) as well as core-logic sets aimed at ultra-thin laptops designed for consumers. The new chips are priced in accordance with their market positioning.
“With an ultra-thin laptop powered by Intel ultra-low voltage processors, consumers experience a unique balance of performance and power consumption that is incomparable in the market today – all in a slim, sleek package. And at mainstream price points, Intel is proud to deliver ultra thin for all,” said Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of the mobile platforms group at Intel.
Intel believes that the new mobile processors with moderate pricing will help the company to popularize yet not very popular category: ultra-thin laptops for consumers. In fact, considering how netbooks quickly gained market acceptance in the last two years, Intel may well have chances to promote its so-called consumer ultra-low voltage (CULV) platform.
A lot of mobile PC users are already used to highly-portable netbooks with 11” or even 12” screens. But once Windows 7 launches later this year, netbooks will cease to have netbooks larger than 10.1” and consumers looking for extra mobility will be virtually forced to acquire notebooks with fully-fledged operating systems, but with more affordable microprocessors.
Traditionally ultra low-voltage processors have been used for ultra-portable notebooks aimed at business users who need long battery life amid sufficient performance and functionality. Many of such ultra-portable computers are state-of-the-art pieces of engineering and employ the latest technologies to provide excellent reliability, stability, battery life, security and other qualities that have tremendous value for those on the road. Intel believes that the new processors will finally enable consumer-oriented ultra-thin notebooks.
However, since consumer-oriented platforms have to be affordable, system makers will not implement their state-of-the-art technologies, such as active hard disk drive protection, powerful yet light batteries, high-quality materials and so on, to keep the costs down, which will make the notebooks somewhat less attractive in general compared to existing ultra-thin laptops.
One of the first CULV processor is Intel Pentium SU2700 (1.30GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz bus, 10W thermal design power). Additionally, Intel will offer its customers Core 2 Solo SU3500, SU9500 and Celeron M 725. In addition to the microprocessors, Intel unveiled the Mobile Intel GS40 core-logic for the new ULV-based laptops. This value chipset enables ULV-based laptops to support features consumers have come to expect from laptops including HD playback, Windows Vista Premium support and native support for integrated HDMI.
According to Intel, the company has over 40 design wins with its CULV-class hardware. Consumer-oriented ultra-thin notebooks will be available from companies like Acer, Asustek Computer, Dell, Dixons, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Medion, NEC, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and so on.