The new ultra low power (ULV) mobile chips could be seen inside a new class of device that Intel called the handtop. The handtop will be smaller than a notebook, but with a larger screen than current PDAs. It will run a full operating system like Longhorn and offer pretty much all the functionality of a full size PC. Otellini said that he expected the first handtop type devices to hit the streets by early 2006.
But low power processors arenâ€™t just about extended battery life and reduced heat production. Intel was keen to convey the environmental message as well, stating that the world power requirements could be dramatically reduced with more efficient power management. Of course on a more corporate note, reduced power requirements will also mean reduced running costs, especially for large data centres.
Another new direction that Otellini was very excited about was technology in emerging markets. Whereas many companies feel that emerging markets should make do with obsolete and dated technology that canâ€™t be used in the developed world anymore, Intel feels that the emerging market requires technology that has been tailored for it.
Just like HSBC, Intel thinks that you can never underestimate the importance of local knowledge and thereâ€™s no point in producing a product if you donâ€™t understand the needs of your customers. The needs of the emerging market population are very different from ours, and this is highlighted by the success of the computer kiosk.
The computer kiosk idea involves a single entrepreneur in a village buying a PC and charging other villagers for the use of it. In most cases the owner of the kiosk is the only person that touches the computer, with the customers just telling the kiosk operator what they need. But developing nations represent a hostile environment for IT equipment, with little or no connectivity, very poor and intermittent power and an excess of dirt and dust to contend with.
Intelâ€™s solution to this hostile environment is The Community PC. The Community PC is designed to operate on dirty power, and can also maintain uptime if power drops out completely via a battery backup. Intel has designed the C-PC to operate from a standard car battery, since these are readily available and affordable in developing countries. The C-PC is also sealed in order to keep out dust, humidity and even insect ingress.
Another important feature of the Community PC is the one touch recovery button â€“ if the system gets a virus or the operating system becomes unstable, you can roll the system back to a previous stable state with the touch of one button. The Community PC will be available in early 2006.