Intel: Ultrabook will 'transform' PCs, Haswell will complete 'revolution'

Day 2 of Intel Developer Forum begins with a major focus on Ultrabooks and the upcoming Ivy Bridge platform.

Ultrabooks are the key to transforming the personal computing industry as we know it, professed Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of Intel’s PC client group.

Eden informed the audience at Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco on Wednesday morning that more than one million PCs are shipping everyday, but in order to sustain this growth, the PC ecosystem of partners needs to evolve.

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As for where it's currently evolving, Eden pointed towards emerging market, citing that China has overtaken the United States as the number one consumer market in the world for computers, and Brazil is now in third place.

But it's going to take more than just emerging markets, Eden argued, adding that notebook and mobile computing will be revolutionized -- primarily thanks to the development of the Ultrabook.

Recalling Intel's major $300 million investment in the advancement of Ultrabooks to ensure top performance at competitive consumer pricing, Intel developers are aiming to address both left and right brain concerns with the Ultrabook as well as the upcoming Ivy Bridge and Haswell processor platforms.

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Those concerns refer to much of what we've heard promoted about Ultrabooks before (i.e. better performance and battery life), but also creativity and sharing content. Eden even asserted that Intel now refers to the "C" in "PC" to mean "creativity."

More Ultrabooks are expected to ship by the holiday season from OEM partners Asus, Acer, LG, Toshiba, Lenovo and Samsung. Exact pricing hasn't been revealed yet although they are expected to be in the sub-$1,000 range, and Eden promised that we would be "surprised" (hopefully pleasantly) when those figures are revealed.

Also coming soon at an unspecified date is the Ivy Bridge platform. Sandy Bridge, which rolled out earlier this year, has done quite well for itself (despite a few stumbling blocks) as more than 75 million units based on the processor platform have shipped since it debuted.

However, Eden said it's time to move on to this 22-nanometer, third generation of the Intel Core CPU system that host 1.48 billion transistors on each chip. Eden informed the conference-goers that the most obvious change to consumers would be the accelerated graphics, but that the "magic" is to deliver a balanced system.

"Experience is defined by the worst component in the league," said Eden, adding that a platform can have great graphics, but if the rest of the components are lagging, then you'll have impatient and unhappy customers.

Additionally, Ivy Bridge will be pin-to-pin compatible with Sandy Bridge, thus not requiring any extra engineering when transferring either of these processors from system to system for whatever reason.

Looking beyond Ivy Bridge, Eden pointed again towards Haswell, which is expected to be ready for sale by 2013. Besides the groundbreaking 24-hour promised battery life on a single charge, Haswell is supposed to deliver 20 times better performance than its predecessors, which Eden argued will complete the PC "revolution."