Intel taps into new computing at Taiwan show

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A laptop 0.8 inches (20 mm) thick with sleek tablet computing features and smarter visual performance than anything on the market today.

This is what U.S. technology giant Intel Corp. promises its new generation of processors will be able to deliver by 2012, when they power the wares of cutting-edge devices produced by companies like Taiwan’s AsusTek Computer Inc.

It may be only the first step in a new, processor-driven revolution that Intel says it is pioneering.

“Computing is taking many forms,” Intel executive vice president Sean Maloney said Tuesday while speaking at the opening of Taipei’s Computex, the world’s second largest computing show. “We believe the changes Intel is making to its roadmaps, together with strong industry collaboration, will bring about an exciting change in personal computing over the next few years.”

More than 1,800 companies, including global firms such as Nvidia Corp., and Broadcom Corp., showed off their products at the show, which runs through Friday and is Asia’s largest computing exhibition.

Like many other tech companies, Intel is under immense pressure from Apple Inc., whose iPhones and iPads have swept through global markets with the force of a hurricane and show no signs of slowing down.

Dubbed “The Ultrabook” by Intel marketers, Maloney said the new generation of computing devices its processors power will be a laptop-tablet hybrid, featuring touch screens and instant log on, all without exceeding a $1,000 price tag.

The devices will be based on Intel’s “Ivy Bridge,” a new generation of chip made with cutting-edge 22 nanometer manufacturing technology and the revolutionary 3-D transistor the company unveiled early in May. It is slated to be on the market by 2012, Intel said.

The new transistor, with markedly increased density, will make more powerful computing devices, it said.

Also by 2012, a new Intel chip designed for tablets and smartphones, named “Medfield,” will be launched. It will give the mobile devices longer use-time, advanced imaging and more power efficiency, the company said.

Intel general manager for the Asia-Pacific region Navin Shenoy acknowledged the market is experiencing significant changes with “the explosion of smartphones and tablets.”

“The industry is in constant change,” he said. “We’re more and more like the fashion industry (where) nothing sticks forever …. We win when we go after and create new markets.”

AsusTek is among the Taiwanese computer makers which have pledged to collaborate with Intel.

With the launch of tablets, AsusTek Chairman Jonney Shih said, “the whole (PC) industry is reshuffling, including the microprocessors and including operating systems.”

“The boundaries between notebooks, tablets and smartphones are blurring,” he told a news conference Monday. Laptops “have to evolve quickly to respond” and become “ultra-thin, ultra-light and ultra-responsive.”