The other day when we did the Xeon E5 interview with the Intel's David McCloskey (Director of Product Marketing and Business Operations), we took the opportunity to ask him a bit about the Ultrabooks.
1, What are the challenges & opportunities for delivering the UTB platform, in terms of delivering the best combination of performance, size & power, etc? Maybe highlight what you're doing in perfecting the UTB component supply?
I'll start with the opportunities and saying we've been pleasantly surprised by how well the Ultrabooks have been received in the industry. If you think about the fact that we only unveiled the Ultrabook concept to the world at Computex last year, we've come a very long way—to a point in which 2012 is being talked about in the press as the year of the Ultrabook.
But, by the same token, we've only just begun—Ultrabooks will come in three phases and we've only seen the first iteration as yet. The most significant changes are ahead of us—at CES this year we talked about Ultrabooks with touch and voice recognition for example. Our 22nm process technology enables silicon with great power/performance optimization, which means as we intro and ramp Ivy Bridge into Ultrabooks beginning in Q2 it will deliver a step function in processor graphics, as well as allowing for great all-around performance in thinner form factors.
The biggest challenge for the industry is to continue to deliver more and more in the Ultrabook experience while continuing to make them increasingly more affordable and hence mainstream. Part of that involves direct investment via the Ultrabook fund but the larger part will come from working with customers and the industry to innovate.
2, How are you working with vendors in the region to ramp UTB, how do you see your partners are supporting it versus the launch of your regular notebook platform?
Vendors globally have rallied their support to design, launch, and ramp Ultrabooks. APAC and PRC OEMs and ODMs have broadly embraced the category as demonstrated by their products. In addition we have accelerated our investments in the ecosystem to drive innovation and supply availability of critical components. Our partners are ramping Ultrabooks in line with their segmentation and pricing strategies for their broader notebook lineups. Already more than 15 models are available from such including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, Samsung and Toshiba. We expect more than 75 Ultrabook designs to be available or in development in 2012.
3, We are in the transition of Sandy bridge/IVB rollout – what is Intel's recommendation for users who want to buy an UTB now, shall they go with SNB UTB or wait for IVB to come out?
As always, I'd say that if you need an Ultrabook now, or any computer for that matter, then buy it now. Moore's Law means there will always be new innovations coming around corner.