Inside the notebook of 2006

Summary:IDF: In an interview with ZDNet UK, Intel mobile platform boss Anand Chandrasekher shares his thoughts on the future of notebook technology

At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco this week Anand Chandrasekher, vice-president and general manager of the company's Mobile Platforms Group, spoke to ZDNet UK about the future of notebook design, broadband wireless access and how to visit bars without your boss finding out.

ZDNet: First things first: people have problems with laptops with batteries running out, non-standard power supplies and so on. Why aren't batteries and power supplies standard, the way they can be with other consumer electronics?
AC: We're working on that, but in general when we do standardisation activities, the gestation period is longer, and mobile in particular we are mindful that we don't want to stifle differentiation. When you settle on a standard battery, you remove the ability of manufacturers to differentiate their product. It'll happen, but I couldn't say when. Whatever I say will be wrong.

What's the target battery life in a couple of years time?
We're thinking of a battery life of six hours, in a typical configuration. The way we get there is somewhat challenging. It's to do with us cutting down power in the components we deliver, and the way displays cut down. It also involves improvements in battery capacity, which is going up at 5 percent a year. We think six hours are within reach.

How about fuel cells?
We're doing a lot with fuel cells. Technology-wise, it won't be ready for the next two years. You may see hybrid solutions [i.e. fuel cells that charge batteries] hit the market in 2006. But in terms of general deployment, there's a way to go. A big part of the challenge is compressing the pump so it doesn't look like a big blob that's worse that what you're carrying with you already.

The Japanese have been innovating with fuel cells for forty years. They've made tremendous strides. Continuous innovation. But it's still got a long way to go.

You launched the 802.11b/g Centrino wireless module in January, but nobody in the UK has seen it yet. Where is it?
The first place it got taken up was in Japan. The reason for the January launch was that it's a big launch date over there, and the OEMs have moved to b/g pretty quickly. My expectation is that b/g will be taken up this quarter and next by OEMs elsewhere. You will see it. It's just a matter of time.

Topics: Processors

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