Besides notebooks, Intel also talked about a new segment of mobile devices that appeals to users who want ultra mobility. We are talking about ultra mobile devices such as the UMPCs (Ultra Mobile PCs) and MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices). Today, UMPCs are built using low voltage mobile processors and although compelling devices have been offered, they do not yet command the kind of battery life expected of such devices.
"Mobile users are demanding to take the full Internet experience anytime, anywhere -in essence these users want the full Internet to be delivered to them wirelessly in and in their pocket," said Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility Group.
In order to deliver an ultra mobile device that gives superb battery life, Intel talked about their upcoming platform known as Menlow to the developer community today. Demonstrating to an audience-packed keynote hall, Chandrasekher showed how Menlow will consume 10 times lower power as compared to the first UMPCs in the market.
In the heart of Menlow is a new low power IA-based core built with the latest 45nm hi-k process known as Silverthorne. Along with the new processor that is no larger than a US penny, Intel will also release a next generation chipset known as Poulsbo. Menlow also offers manufacturers the option to provide communication capabilities such as Wi-Fi, 3G and WiMAX.
Chandrasekher also talked about the wide software support offered by IA-based products because of the widely available applications already available for the x86 architecture. Drawing comparisons with other mobile internet devices offered on other ARM based platforms, Intel showed how compatibility issues continued to plague users on non IA-based platforms.
The software industry also showed its support for the UMPC and MID categories with the release of software tailored specifically for such devices. Founder and CEO of Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth, showed their latest pre-alpha release of Ubuntu Mobile on an Intel Menlow-based MID. Adobe also showed its support with Adobe AIR and demonstrated how Adobe AIR applications can help bring new experiences to the user on the MID.
After Menlow, Intel will introduce the next generation platform codenamed Moorestown. Intel expects Moorestown to further reduce power consumption and increase battery life significantly. The target for Moorestown is to reduce idle power consumption by 10x as compared to Menlow, so that the idea of an always on, always ready device could be achieved in the future. Moorestown will comprise of a highly integrated SOC (System On Chip) which contains the CPU, memory controller and graphics.