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Top processor maker predicts $599 multi-touch ultrabooks, 13 hour battery life

For those unhappy with Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) touch-driven operating system turn with Windows 8, it's about to get worse.  Intel Corp. (INTC) announced at its Monday afternoon press conference at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada that all next generation Core i-Series "Ultrabook" machines will be required to have touch.

In other words, for OEMs less than enthusiastic about touch displays for laptops, you will be forced to either begrudgingly add touch or may be bumped down the supply ladder when it comes to Intel's latest and greatest upcoming Ultrabook-aimed chip -- the new 22 nm architecture Haswell (a "tock" release).

Thus Intel appears to be following an approach similar to Microsoft's with Windows 8 -- shoving innovation down the throat of the market.

Both device designers and customers will now be forced to deal with this force-feeding -- whether or not they feel ready for it.  Ultimately that may be a wise decision for both companies; Microsoft otherwise would risk being overrun by master marketers and innovators like Google Inc. (GOOG) and Apple, Inc. (AAPL), while Intel would risk losing more ground to ARM Holdings Plc. (LON:ARM)

For OEMs who play nice, there will be rewards.

Intel showed off a 13-inch reference design that delivered 13 hour battery life, when in laptop mode (10 hours when in tablet mode, detachable via a one-touch latching mechanism). Intel is claiming that the battery bump from Ivy Bridge to Haswell is the "largest generation on generation battery life increase in the history of Intel."

The processor maker believes that by the holidays $599 USD or below touch laptops will be available to consumers, with the latest Intel Core processors.

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RE: Doesn't make sense
By bill.rookard on 1/7/2013 11:37:15 PM , Rating: 5
Wow, you're surely on something, care to share so we can live in the same happy fantasy land as you?

Point: ARM SoC's are nice, but currently the fastest ones are on par with Atom's. Last time I benched an Atom, it was pulling about 1100 on Geekbench. An AMD Brazos E-350 benches at almost 2000. A Pentium III benches at around 750, a P4@2Ghz comes in at around 1000.

So, for Apple to take their high-powered workstation class Macbook Pros which score around 11500-12000 DOWN to something that scores (even optimistically DOUBLING ARM scores to 2000 or so) down by a factor of 6 would be pure stupidity of the highest levels. Such a move would even be DUMBER than what you claim Microsoft did to Win8 (which is an... okay operating system, many things I'm not crazy about).

Such a move would absolutely KILL their computer lines, and for what? Intel is -not- their competition, Intel is a parts supplier, and they are the best at what they do. Look how far down they've taken the power draw on their core series of chips. The i7-3517U is capable of running in a 17W TDP, and would absolutely DESTROY anything made by ARM. In fact, in tests against some of the tablets, the ULV i7 (which is a pretty lightweight processor) scored 11x faster than Tegra3 and 6x faster than the dual-core Krait processors.

And the MB Pros don't use the ULV chips, so the performance drop would be even more extreme.

Point: While Apple may be good at design, and they might have some skill at modifying ARM-licensed designs, that doesn't mean they're remotely good at designing an X86 chip - and the differences are HUGE. In addition, that's not even touching on the fact that Intel holds a huge number of patents on the X86. If Apple decides to go into their own X86 chip fabrication, I'll give you what the answer would be if they asked Intel to let them license the X86 portfolio and simultaneously cut their purchases of Intel processors so they could make their own. Hint for the drug-impaired: probably NO. Or worse.

Point: AMD tried to compete with Intel, and they're pretty good at chip-fab too, they actually had Intel on the ground once or twice when they came out with the x64 IA and enjoyed some pretty good market share gains. Look where they are now. Yes, they still make very good chips, and for all-in-one solutions that require better video their Trinity chips are excellent. Intel is cleaning their clocks though. Trying to find notebooks which use the Trinity processors is almost an exercise in futility.

Flat-out - Intel has the the chops to make the -best- chips, and have R&D which Apple will never be able to buy, so it doesn't make sense to compete with them as that would be a very nasty fight. Besides, it doesn't matter as again, Intel doesn't COMPETE with Apple. It would be like Apple trying to design their own LCD screens, why bother when someone else makes them, makes them well, and would give them volume pricing. Let someone else do the R&D while you focus on your core (computers and OS).

Last and final point: You say that Intel should try and do more to win back Apples business. Uhhh.. WHAT? Last time I checked, all of Apples COMPUTERS (desktops and notebooks) are already USING EXCLUSIVELY Intel processors. There ARE NO AMD Apples. Apple used to use Motorola CPUs, then switched to Intel (or have those aforementined drugs addled your few functioning brain cells?). And in spite of your insistence that Apple is going to leverage ARM technology to supplant Intel - well, good luck with that pipe dream. NEVER going to happen.

And guess what Intel -IS- doing? Working on getting the Atom TDP down to a level which makes usage in tablets and smart phones possible. And guess what? They're succeeding. The new Atom Z2760 is being used in the Acer W510, and battery life is close (down 10-15% from iPad4) while performance is up about 20-25%. This is with the Z2760 at the 32nm process node - if (more likely when) they go to 22nm that power difference will evaporate, and performance can be knocked up a notch. The net result is that it is FAR more likely that Intel will get it's chips into smartphone territory - with better performance before ARM can get their chips into desktop territory.

If Intel succeeds, ARMs days will be numbered.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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