More powerful microprocessors and high-speed WiMax wireless networks will usher in a new era of the full Internet on mobile devices.
This is according to Intel executive Sean Maloney, at the opening keynote at Computex this week, who also unveiled new chipsets that make high-definition (HD) images on a desktop computer’s screen look more realistic.
Maloney also announced the availability of new versions of Intel Atom processors for an emerging class of compact, easy-to-use devices called netbooks and nettops that will bring the Internet to new users.
“The convergence of mobile computers, WiMax wireless broadband, and powerful, HD-rich computer technologies point to a tremendous growth opportunity,” says Maloney.
“Individuals – not households – will drive the next era of growth with people each owning one or more computing devices. People have an innate desire to be ‘connected’ all the time and see personalised, mobile technology as the way to meet that need.”
With the emergence of the netbook category this year, Intel believes that this will be the first year that more mobile computing devices will be sold than desktop computers. The company is delivering a variety of high-performance, low-power processors and other advanced computer technologies to help the industry address this opportunity with devices at all price points.
Maloney showed about 100 Intel processor and chipset-based motherboards, netbooks and nettops that computer makers are showcasing at Computex. Netbooks are compact mobile devices that children, first-time Internet users and people who desire an extra PC can use for basic computing applications, listening to music, e-mailing and surfing the Internet. They can also be used for playing basic online games, social networking and making voice over IP phone calls.
The new Intel 4 Series Chipsets will be used in mainstream desktop PCs powered by the latest 45nm Intel Core2 Duo and Intel Core2 Quad processors. Maloney said people want to store all their HD videos, photos, games and music in one “central library” and be able to access it from portable Internet-connected devices while on-the-go.
“The Internet is going ‘high-def,’” Maloney says. “Desktop PCs with these new chipsets let you enjoy, share and protect your digital life. They have the processing power and graphics to deliver stutter-free HD video playback, improved 3-D performance and leading storage capabilities.”
Maloney says ubiquitous wireless Internet access is required to mobilize how people are using the Internet today for things such as creating and watching videos, playing games and sharing photos. He adds that mobile WiMax will make the Internet open, fast and mobile and it’s quickly progressing toward a healthy global footprint.
Chii-ming Yiin, Taiwan’s minister of Economic Affairs, also addressed the keynote audience via video. He described how WiMax represents the next growth opportunity for Taiwan’s technology industry with local hardware, services and network infrastructure companies developing complete WiMax solutions for use worldwide.
“Mobile WiMax is the right solution and it’s happening now," Maloney adds. “Wireless networks will be how the majority of people get connected and they have to be Web 2.0 capable. That means they’ve got to have a lot of bandwidth to send data either to or from devices at a rapid-fire pace.”
During the week of 14 July, Intel will also introduce processors and some chipsets for its next-generation mobile PC platform called Intel Centrino 2 processor technology – formerly codenamed Montevina – for high-performance laptops. Intel’s full line of chipsets and its WiFi wireless product will ship in early August.
Intel has developed an integrated WiMax/WiFi solution, codenamed Echo Peak that will be available as an option for certain Intel Centrino 2 processor technology-based notebook PCs. The company aims to enable initial availability of certain WiMax-enabled notebook PCs in the US later in the second half of the year depending on individual computer maker plans and WiMax network availability, with system and network availability expected to increase in 2009.