Intel offers glimpse into mobile strategy

SAN FRANCISCO – Intel executives outlined an ambitious initiative Wednesday designed to enhance the future of mobile PCs.

On the third day of the Intel Developer Forum, Mobile Platforms Group vice-president Anand Chandrasekher noted in a keynote speech that Intel Corp. is currently working with other hardware companies through its Mobile Enabling Program to facilitate the development of notebook PCs.

“The idea behind this program is for us the come together to identify key hurdles that we can work on together and remove,” Chandrasekher said.

Chandrasekher said the future of mobile devices include a “thinner, lighter” form factor, better battery life and performance, and secure, seamless wireless connectivity, and added that the initiative will attempt to create new guidelines for forthcoming mobile devices via a standard for secure wireless networking infrastructure.

2002 is also the year Pentium 4 goes mobile, Chandrasekher said, and demonstrated a seamless decode of high-quality streaming video on a notebook PC.

Chandrasekher noted the code name for Intel’s next generation mobile devices is Banias, which centres around an updated chipset (called Odem) and should be available in the first half of 2003. “Banias is the first processor that we are building ground up for this mobile marketplace,” Chandrasekher said.

Intel demonstrated to developers several innovative notebook PCs – its “widescreen” convertible, “flip top” and “executive” form factors designed to appeal to different segments of the mobile marketplace.

“Our mission is to explore new mobile usage models and form factors, research and develop core technologies and standards, and research and develop next generation hardware and software architectures for Intel architecture platforms,” said Intel Lab technology manager Kurt Sehnert.

The vision is also to make mobile internet roaming easier than a phone call, Sehnert said, adding that Intel’s Intelligent Roaming Software works across target networks (wired, 802.11, GPRS) and allows for seamless “policy-based” network configuration.

Sehnert noted that Intel’s focus is on extending battery life by trying to find ways to conserve energy, including reducing display refresh rates, intermediate power states between standby and continuous use, and engaging the industry for new display technologies.

The four-day IDF ends Feb. 28.

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