Intel Capital puts US$300 million into Ultrabook fund

intel captial 3 Intel Capital puts US$300 million into Ultrabook fund

At a press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, Intel Capital announced that they’ve put aside US$300 million for an Ultrabook fund that was set up to help drive innovation for Intel’s new category of notebooks. It might seem like a lot of money at first, but considering that Intel Capital hasn’t really put any limitations in place, some companies applying for money from the fund might get more than others.

At a press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, Intel Capital announced that they’ve put aside US$300 million for an Ultrabook fund that was set up to help drive innovation for Intel’s new category of notebooks. It might seem like a lot of money at first, but considering that Intel Capital hasn’t really put any limitations in place, some companies applying for money from the fund might get more than others.

The money is to be used towards development of new technologies for the platform, from basic things like improving battery life or creating a new type of low weight chassis. However, at the press conference Erik Reid, GM of Mobile Client Platforms at Intel also mentioned that Intel is hoping to see new develops going into the platform and he was specifically mentioning various type of sensors, much like the kind you find a smartphones these days.

intel captial 1 Intel Capital puts US$300 million into Ultrabook fund

Also at the press conference was David P. Flanagan, MD of Intel Capital’s Mobile Communications and Infrastructure Group which is heading up the new fund. He mentioned that any size company can apply and if their ideas and projects are approved, they can get a slice of the action. It’s worth pointing out that none of this money will go towards promoting the platform itself, as it’s intended solely for the purpose of bringing to market new technologies for the Ultrabook platform.

intel captial 2 Intel Capital puts US$300 million into Ultrabook fund

During the Q&A session a few questions about Intel’s previous attempt at a thin and light notebook – Intel’s CULV platform – came up and Erik Reid suggested that the Ultrabooks shouldn’t suffer the same fate due to a wide range of hardware improvements. He was also keen to promote Intel’s Rapid Storage technology as well as the addition of anti-theft and identity protection technology that’s been added to the platform.

There wasn’t too much talk about the platform itself, although it was mentioned that 13-inch notebooks should end up being 18mm or thinner while larger size screens will bring this up to about 21mm. It’s also very clear that Intel is very keen on pushing SSD’s into this market space, be it via Rapid Storage or just by replacing the mechanical drive altogether, as there was a lot of talk about the responsiveness of the platform and this is what an SSD brings. As for battery life we can expect 5h or there abouts from the slimmer machines with 8h plus from larger machines.

intel captial 3 Intel Capital puts US$300 million into Ultrabook fund

The accompanying press release also talks about USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt finding a home in the new platform, although as always when it comes to Intel, it’s down to its partners to implement whatever technology they see fit. Intel is also looking at getting the Ultrabooks into the enterprise market space, but the company didn’t expect this to take place until next year at the earliest. As for pricing, Intel wouldn’t mention anything beyond the sub US$1,000 price point, but the company expects the cost to come down with economies of scale, so even though the very first Ultrabooks won’t be low cost machines, we might be seeing some more affordable options during next year. The platform is expected to launch next month and we’d expect IDF to be the time and place.

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