A few months ago Intel stated that they would no longer use the term ‘Netbook’ because in their opinion is was not descriptive to what a Netbook really was. Microsoft was finding it harder to get their newest Windows to function on Netbooks since they were lightly powered by the Intel Atom Z processor. But do not fret since both Intel and Microsoft are going to bring is what they call ‘ultrathins’ in our future. Why ‘ultra thins’ you may ask? So that both companies can increase their profits.
It now seems that Intel may drop their Atom Z processing unit in favor of their higher priced / higher profit processing units. This in turn will allow Windows 7 to work on these new light weight computers. The thinking is that we will get a better computing experience, but at a higher price.
Here is what was said at the Intel Technology Summit:
At the Intel Technology Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday, an executive described the imminent mobile future, including a major refresh of Netbook silicon, better-designed “ultrathins,” and turbo-powered high-end laptops.
Netbooks may undergo the biggest change. Models that appear after Windows 7 ships in October will see the most significant overhaul internally since the Netbook category debuted back in the spring of 2008. Intel’s new “Pine Trail” Atom silicon will collapse most of the core chips onto one piece of silicon, improving the power efficiency and boosting performance.
“There will be integrated graphics inside the same (processor) core so you get better performance,” said Mooly Eden, general manager of the Mobile Platforms Group at Intel, describing how the graphics processor and main processor will be grafted onto the same chip–an Intel first.
One of the challenges for Intel is making sure these sub-one-inch-thick designs don’t overheat. Eden described the use of laminar air flow technology to cool a laptop’s outer skin. “This is the difference between thin comfortable and thin uncomfortable,” he said.
Intel is also designing new fans that are better at getting hot air out faster. “We are putting a lot of effort into designing fans,” said Eden. Intel demonstrated the fan technology at the conference Wednesday.
And how does Intel see these segments breaking down into screen sizes? Netbooks will have 10-inch class displays, while the “sweet spot” for ultrathins will 13.3-inch, though some larger ultrathins may have 15.6-inch screens, according to Eden. He also said there may be “some experimentation” with 11.6-inch designs.
So until Intel comes out with their new Atom processor dubbed ‘Pine Trail’ we may not see any differences in pint sized laptops, at least until Windows 7 is introduced. We could than see a whole new ball game with a bunch of little laptops, or ultrathins, hitting the market.