The design, dubbed Tanggula, is meant to offer enhanced security, wireless capabilities and multimedia functions, along with features meant specifically for students. Intel declined to elaborate, saying details would be disclosed at a later date. The chipmaker announced Tanggula on Thursday.
Intel said the lightweight notebooks that spring from Tanggula will also draw on elements of Intel's Common Building Block program, which seeks to have notebook ingredients conform to industry specifications so that components are more consistent regardless of who manufactures them and also reduces assembly costs and speed time to market.
Notebooks based on Tanggula are due out in the second half of this year. They're expected to come in range of entry-level and higher-performance designs.
The notebook platform fits into the Mobile Initiative for Learning in Education that Intel launched last year in the Asia-Pacific region to promote mobile computing and wireless technologies. Other participants in that effort include Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Lenovo.
"The Intel Mobile Initiative for Learning in Education has helped many of China's top universities to break the boundaries of traditional lecture halls and begin their transformation into roaming, all-access research libraries that provide students and teachers a more flexible environment for learning and teaching," David Perlmutter, vice president of mobility group at Intel, said in a statement.
Intel also announced Thursday that 8,000 students at the Neusoft Institute of Information in Dalian, China, have been equipped with notebooks based on its Centrino design.
The chipmaker, like many tech companies, has a keen interest in the potentially huge Chinese market. On the wireless front, it is working with Chinese gear maker ZTE to develop broadband equipment using WiMax technology. In addition, Intel last year began a program to boost the sale in China of desktop computers based on Linux.