Intel pushes forward with UMPC

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Intel pushes forward with UMPC

Portable computer inches towards all-day battery life.

Intel has underlined its commitment to mobile computing with the unveiling of a new Ultra Mobile PC platform. 

The 2007 Platform for Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs) offers faster processors and an upgraded chipset. Device makers are expected to start shipping the first devices over the summer.

Intel's current-generation UMPCs run Windows XP and Origami, a special software layer that delivers extra functionality to facilitate mobile operation. It features an ultra low power Pentium M or Celeron processor.

The 2007 platform will be upgraded to Windows Vista and will still use the Origami software.

The hardware features an Intel A100 or A110 processor, running at 600MHz and 800MHz respectively. The chips are based on the Pentium M architecture and consume about 3W of energy.

Underlining the importance of the ultra mobile platform for Intel, the chipmaker has boosted the development efforts for its next generation ultra mobile platform codenamed Menlow.

Originally scheduled for availability by late 2008, the platform will now be made available in the first half of next year. It is set to introduce a 45nm Silverthorne processor a new single-chip chipset codenamed Poulsbo.

Intel is scheduled to provide a first public demonstration of Menlow at its Beijing technology conference.

The Ultra Mobile PC is intended to offer a fully-featured PC that provides all day battery life and is fully portable. The first-generation UMPC was unveiled in March 2006, but fell short of its original design goals.  

Windows XP was ill-suited to its 800 x 480 screen resolution, and battery life was limited to 2.5 hours.

Advances in chip manufacturing and the overall platform are expected to further improve battery life.
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