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Old 04-15-2009, 04:21 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Upcoming Trend in Notebooks: Ultra-Thin and Ultra-Low-Voltage

From our front-page news:
It's been discussed numerous times in the past that netbooks have been one of the biggest innovations in mobile computing in the last while, and that doesn't look to change right away. Given their price points (and this economy), they're an extremely attractive option for anyone. It's not just the price, though. The fact that they're competent, small and tend to have great battery-life helps things also.

But what about those who want something a bit larger that has great battery-life, but doesn't want to spend over $2,000? Well, they probably buy nothing, because the options are slim, or non-existent. The best 12" - 13" offerings on the market cost around $3,000, and it goes without saying, that's not a realistic purchase for most people. Paul Otellini expects things to change later this year though, with the help of their upcoming CULV mobile processors.

An acronym for "Consumer Ultra-Low-Voltage", CULV processors are to be placed in between Intel's bare-minimum offering, the Atom, and their regular mobile solutions. So, huge performance wouldn't be there, but it would be more than sufficient, and with that power we're given, battery-life should be better than what we're seeing today. During the first quarter earnings call, Otellini said, "I think you'll see those at very attractive price points". Sounds good to me.

We'll have to wait a few months before we see these processors launch, but if it means that we can get ~12" ultra-thin notebooks with great battery-life for a reasonable price (<$1,250), it will be a huge win for consumers. Well, at least those who like to travel and not have to worry about battery-life.

During Intel's first-quarter earnings conference call Monday afternoon, Otellini had a surprising amount to say about Intel's upcoming consumer ultra-low-voltage (CULV) processors, designed to fit into future ultrathin laptops that are expected to be priced significantly below $1,700-and-up luxury laptops such as the Apple MacBook Air and the recently-introduced Dell Adamo. The category of upcoming CULV-based laptops has been described by some observers as the MacBook Air for the masses.

Source: Nanotech: The Circuits Blog
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