The investment arm of the world's largest computer chip manufacturer, Intel, has decided to offer $300 million to companies that develop better technologies for Ultrabooks, the ultra-thin laptops touted as an alternative to tablet PCs.
According to Intel Corp., Intel Capital's Ultrabook Fund has been earmarked for development of new hardware and softwares, such as better sensors and touch, longer battery life, better physical designs and better storage capacity. The investments will span over three to four years.
The company unveiled it's Ultrabook idea at the Computex 2011 show in May, with many PC manufacturers, including Acer, Asus, LG Electronics and Lenovo, stating their plans to create Intel-based Ultrabooks this year.
According to Sean Maloney, executive vice president of Intel Corporation, Intel believes that Ultrabooks will account for 40 percent of all the notebooks sold by 2012.
“Ultrabooks are poised to be an important area for innovation in the $X billion global computer industry.”-- Arvind Sodhani, Intel Capital president.
Ultrabook are poised to be important: Intel Capital
Intel and some PC manufacturers are expecting that the Ultrabook can renew interest in the PC market.
Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice president stated, “Ultrabooks are poised to be an important area for innovation in the $X billion global computer industry.”
“The Intel Capital Ultrabook fund will focus on investing in companies building technologies that will help revolutionize the computing experience and morph today’s mobile computers into the next ‘must have’ device.”
Ultrabook will resemble Macbook Air, says Intel
Ultrabooks will be similar to Apple's MacBook Air, with less than 21 millimeters (0.8 inches) in thickness, said Intel. An upcoming Asus' UX21 ultra slim laptop was shown as an example by Intel.
The first models will be launched this year with new chips based on the Sandy Bridge microprocessor. The models will lack touch features, but boot faster and always stay connected to receive e-mail and Facebook updates, said Kevin Sellers, vice president of investor relations at Intel.
"Starting next year with our Ivy Bridge product line and with Windows 8 is when you'll start to see tablet form factor, tablet capability integrated," Sellers said.
"This is the importance of combining this technology with something like Windows 8, which will give you the ability to do both."
The graphics and security features will improve as Intel is set to introduce chips based on new micro-architectures, said Intel.