Intel Predicts Explosion In Ultrathin Notebooks, Intros New Chips

Intel (NSDQ:INTC) used the spotlight of the Computex technology exhibition Monday to introduce three new Core 2 Duo mobile processors and an ultra-low-voltage Pentium processor designed for ultrathin laptops.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip maker is predicting an explosion in the market for ultrathin notebooks, defined by Intel as thin and light mobile PCs with longer battery life than more full-featured notebooks, priced in the $499 to $1,299 range.

"There's been a change in usage patterns. The way people are living their lives has changed dramatically as this 'Thin is in' phase plays out. And 'Thin is in' has finally reached computers," said Uday Marty, director of product marketing for Intel's Mobile Platforms Group, introducing the new dual-core products Monday.

The new chips do not yet appear on Intel's processor price list, but Marty said the top processor, the Core 2 Duo T9900, is a 3.06GHz device, making it the first Core 2 Duo mobile chip to top 3.0GHz. All four new processors boast better performance-per-watt specs than their predecessors, Marty said.

Intel has 40 computer makers currently building notebooks around the new parts, with some expected to deliver ultrathin systems that deliver up to eight hours of battery life.

Intel also introduced the Mobile GS40 Express chipset Monday. The GS40 is a scaled-down version of the GS45 chipset with a lower power draw, joining other products in the Mobile 4 Express series of chipsets that are part of Intel's current Centrino 2 platform for notebooks, also known as Montevina.

The chip giant expects demand for ultrathin notebooks to grow markedly in the current quarter, with further strong growth in the third and fourth quarters of 2009. Asked if Intel's forecast was based on expectations of an overall economic recovery or simply reflected Intel's introduction of new products for that specific form factor, Marty declined to comment on the macroeconomic question but did say that Intel expects 20 percent of the mobile platforms it ships to be ultrathin configurations by the end of the year.

Computex runs from June 2 to 6 in Taipei, Taiwan.

BY Damon Poeter

Copyright © 2009 United Business Media LLC.



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