It would be nice if this was $300M of subsidy for manufacturers to seed the Ultrabook market, but it’s not. It’s $300M of cash reserved by Intel Capital for funding companies that work in and around Ultrabook technologies.
In an event and press release today, Intel announced that over the next 3-4 years, $300 million would be available for investing in companies that are “building technologies that will help revolutionize the computing experience and morph today’s mobile computers into the next ‘must have’ device.”
So while not exactly a pure Ultrabook fund, it’s significant and important and comparable to the way an automotive company might invest in Formula 1 technology in order to find solutions that can be used to improve mass-market cars. If you ignore the ‘Ultrabook’ marketing slant, it’s business as usual for Intel Capital.
It’s important to note here that the Ultrabook isn’t just about Intel silicon. As I mentioned in the previous post, there are new manufacturing and production processes, battery, cooling and communication technologies that are needed in order to complete the product. This fund will help companies move forward with those elements.
“Ultrabook takes the best technologies and marries them with sleeker designs and extraordinarily long battery life for a new kind of computing experience,” said Peter Hortensius, Lenovo’s Product Group president. “This new type of personal computing aligns with our continual focus on engineering innovative laptop solutions that push the boundaries on mobility.”
Clearly Lenovo are going to be launching an Ultrabook.
Netbooknews was at the event and picked up on the three target areas for investment:
- Slim Components – slim batteries, touch display, SSD
- New Ingredients – Sensors, gesture software, gyroscopes, 3D camera’s
- Complementary Technologies – Cloud based Storage & Cloud based sync
Given that Ultrabooks are taking cues from the tablet world, I’m surprised they didn’t mention application stores. Perhaps AppUp will move up from netbooks to Ultrabooks?
Storage is an important topic. SSD prices aren’t coming down as fast as expected and a 10GB Windows 7 install, recovery partition and hibernate files means you’re looking at a minimum 64GB storage requirement. Cloud storage, archiving, sync and streaming could help offset the storage requirement. At least for photo, docs and music access, maybe video too – Intel Insider is part of the Ultrabook platform remember.
We’ll hear more about Ultrabooks at the IDF event in September and we’ll have a chance to ask questions then. If you’ve got ideas though, let us know in the comments. What improvements would you like to see to Ultrabooks? Outdoor screens? Always on? Wireless Docking stations? Under-body neon lighting? Let us know and we’ll let Intel know.