Ultra-mobile future beckons for PCs

BBC, January 8, 2008

The desktop PC's days of dominance could be numbered as laptops and ultra-mobile PCs begin to reap the benefit of ever greater, and more efficient, computing power. "We want to be mobile and not tethered to our desks anymore - we can take our computing power with us," said Mooly Eden, general manager of the mobile platform group at Intel. "Today's laptops have more processing power than all the computers that took the Apollo rocket to the moon," he added. Laptop sales are expected to overtake desktop sales around the world by 2009 as the shift to an untethered computer experience accelerates. "Consumers want the performance of a desktop - they are not willing to compromise," said Mr Eden. "They want battery life, they want wi-fi connectivity and good form factor." Intel is pushing hard into the mobile space. At CES this week the company announced five processors for laptops, using its latest chip designs made up of transistors with features just 45 billionths of a metre in size.

"Technologies on the rise in 2008"

BBC Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Various devices have tried to fill the role between a PDA and a full-blown laptop over the years, but none has taken off. But 2008 could be the year when the Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs) finally have their day. The first devices were launched in 2006, but they have never gone mass market - partly because of a combination of high prices and poor battery life. But towards the end of 2007 a series of new products started to hit shelves. The most talked about was the Asus EEE, a sub-200 laptop about the size of a hardback book. The Taiwanese manufacturer has predicted it will sell five million of the tiny machines in 2008. The low-cost laptop runs open source Linux software and weighs less than one kilogram. To cut down on weight it does away with a hard drive in favour of just 4GB of flash memory. Whilst the storage is small, its use of flash highlights another trend of 2008. Flash memory has been gradually increasing in power. For example, electronics giant Samsung recently showed off chips that could be used to make 128GB memory cards. As a result the technology is now starting to challenge hard drives as the storage of choice on laptops. Apple is even rumoured to be launching ultra-thin Macbooks using flash in 2008.

“The 7-in“Intel has teamed up with the world's largest maker of computer motherboards to produce laptops for the developing world

BBC Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Intel is working on another cheap laptop
Intel has teamed up with the world's largest maker of computer motherboards to produce laptops for the developing world.

The laptop has been dubbed the Eee PC - and will sit alongside Intel's Classmate which is also aimed at the developing world.

The partnership with Asustek is the latest twist in a developing battle between the chipmaker and rival group, the One Laptop per Child foundation.

Both plan to offer sub-$200 laptops.

War of words

The Eee laptop will use one of Intel's mobile processors - although exactly which one has not been specified. It will have a seven inch (18cm) display, weigh in at 2lb (0.89kg), with a flash memory hard drive and wireless capacity.

The laptop will sell for around $200 (£100).

Both this and Intel's forthcoming mass produced Classmate will be in direct competition with One Laptop Per Child 's (OLPC) robust green and white machine, which although known as the $100 laptop will initially sell for $176 (£88).

Intel's Classmate laptop
Intel's Classmate will also ship to the developing world

The race to provide cheap laptops to the developing world has turned into a bitter war of words in recent days. Web pioneer Nicholas Negroponte, who heads up the OLPC foundation, has accused Intel of trying to undermine his initiative.

Professor Negroponte, who also founded the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's famous Media Labs, believes that the decision of his not-for-profit organisation to use processors designed by Intel's main competitor AMD lies at the heart of the conflict.

Intel denies that its efforts undermine the work of the OLPC team.

"We are going to need hundreds of millions of machines and that's going to take a whole industry to provide. There is plenty of room for numerous vendors, " said George Alfs, a spokesman for Intel.