IDF Spring 2007 – Day Two – Keynote – Wimax and UMPC

Intel talks up Wimax and 'McCaslin' and 'Menlow' UMPC platforms announced.

At the second day’s keynote, mobile technology was on the agenda with the focus on UMPC and Wimax. David Perlmutter, Senior Vice President of the Mobility Group and Anand Chandrasekher, General Manager of the Ultra Mobility Group were on hand so see where we are on now with Internet on the move.

Both were very bullish about delivering a full, rich Internet experience on mobile devices over Wimax. “What we did with Wi-Fi, we’re going to do with Wimax. We’re going to make it happen”, said Perlmutter, while Anand set out Intel’s stall with the words, “It is happening; it’s not a case of if, but when”.

Perlmutter answered the rhetorical question, “why Wimax”, with the answer that is is cheaper and offeres better performance, presumably to 4G alternatives. He made a good point though when he said that it’s not about performance, it’s about coverage claiming that Wimax will cover a mere 150 million people in 2008, but predicted that this will rise to over a billion by 2012.

He then demonstrated the power of Wimax by switching to a live video stream of a someone outside the conference centre with the Olympic stadium in the background, which in the true spirit of all demos almost immediately froze up, greatly embarrassing demoer Craig. Nevermind Craig, it happens to the best of us.

Chandrasekher then took over to confirm that Intel’s UMPC platform for the second half of 2007 will be McCaslin, which Gordon actually got the skinny on a week ago.

McCaslin combines the ‘Stealey’ A100 and A110 processor, with the 945GU Express Chipset, ‘Little River’ attached to an ICH7U I/O controller. It will offer a 2-3x reduction in size and power over current UMPCs, which should mean that we can actually start using them for a decent length of time before charging.

Vendors selling them will be from Aigo, Asus, Fujitsu Haier, HTC and Samsung and will be available over the summer. The UMPC that was demoed featured a cool thumbnail based interface called Glide, and there will be version running on Windows and Linux.

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