Intel creates $300 million Ultrabook fund

Intel creates $300 million Ultrabook fund

Summary: Intel is putting its money behind the ultrabook bet with a $300 million fund from its venture capital unit.

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Intel on Wednesday rolled out a $300 million investment fund designed to bolster the technology ecosystem surrounding its ultrabook designs.

The ultrabook, introduced at Computex, is designed to be similar to Apple's MacBook Air while blending together features found in laptops and tablets. What's unclear is whether the ultrabook will be the future of laptops or another netbook category that shines for a few years then fades.

Intel is putting its money behind the ultrabook bet and earlier this week rolled out reference designs to OEMs.

A reference spec for two devices goes like this:

  • An 18mm thick device with a screen size between 11-13-inches with a reference BOM (bill of materials) of between $475 - $650
  • A 21mm thick device with a 14-17-inch screen with a reference BOM (bill of materials) of between $493 - $710

The Intel Capital Ultrabook Fund will invest in hardware and software companies focused on user interface via sensors and touch, longer battery life, storage capacity gains and new designs. The fund will invest the $300 million over three to four years.

The chip giant is planning the ultrabook rollout in three phases. First it will roll out its latest Intel Core chips. The next chip family, dubbed Ivy Bridge, will roll out in the first half of 2012. These chips are designed to improve the power and performance equation.

According to Intel, the PC industry has been collaborating on the ultrabook effort.

Topics: Intel, Hardware, Networking, Processors

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7 comments
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  • Genuine requirement

    The AIR deserves to be successful in that it is arguably the first good portable PC. By that I mean it is not like previous devices which claimed to be light with long battery life ... the AIR actually is light and long.

    Nor is it a netbook which claimed to be a PC but only achieved the goal of light by a massive reduction in capability.

    So if the Intel cartel can produce a good Windows portable, for that's all an ultrabook is (plus marketing label), then it too is likely to succeed.

    We will then be able to thank Apple for being the necessary competitor to break the laggard WINTEL monopoly and force the incumbents into a better design.
    jacksonjohn
    • RE: Intel creates $300 million Ultrabook fund

      @johnfenjackson@...
      laptops and netbooks with SSDs of small size and decent performance were available years before the AIR
      mswift@...
  • As long as I don't fry my pants and it's light, nimble, hits my price point

    I'll be interested.

    Those who poo poo the Netbook need to understand: that market is alive and well and will remain long after the tablet fad cools off.

    The only issue I see is that those who get into the UltraBook market need to act fast because it takes just six months before something comes along to replace it.

    I think Intel understand that.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate!
  • RE: Intel creates $300 million Ultrabook fund

    I'd like to see if they will publish 'Meego' on any of these ultrabooks. It will be more a strategic decision for Intel to go either with Honeycomb or Win 7 (wait for Win 8). Debian LINUX with GNOME3 will also be a good choice too
    krishnansriram
    • Windows burns resources

      @krishnansriram And that kills the battery. And no major OEM will ship it with anything else. No Meego, no Linux. So no, this is just another lead balloon.
      symbolset
  • RE: Intel creates $300 million Ultrabook fund

    Put a Linux distro on it like Ubuntu and then you might have a serious competitor for the Mac Book Air.
    BobMcDol
    • RE: Intel creates $300 million Ultrabook fund

      @BobMcDol You might have a serious competitor for geeks but not the general consumer market.
      non-biased