VON: WiMax will take flight with Intel's new mobile platform

By , IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless

More than one-third of the ultramobile PCs coming later this year on Intel's
Atom Centrino platform will offer a combination of WiMax and Wi-Fi, the head of
the company's Ultra Mobility Group said Tuesday.

Intel has been pushing WiMax aggressively, saying the standards-based wireless
broadband technology will proliferate just as Wi-Fi did, though the system remains
an upstart against more established cellular technologies, namely the forthcoming
LTE (Long-Term Evolution) standard. But of the 35 third-party designs for Atom
Centrino devices due to hit the market in the second quarter, 37 percent will
include WiMax, said Intel Senior Vice President Arun Chandrasekhar. Fourteen
percent will have only Wi-Fi and 49 percent will include a combination of Wi-Fi
and HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access), a 3G (third-generation) cellular system.

During his keynote address Tuesday at the Von.x conference in San Jose, California,
Chandrasekhar also showed off mock-up devices based on a future mobile chipset
called Moorestown, looking toward a future when social networking will drive
Internet use on the go.

Two of the devices, which he produced from his pockets during the speech, were
similar to a typical smart phone but about twice as wide. That form factor fits
the entire width of a typical Web page, making browsing more convenient, said
Chandrasekhar, who leads Intel's Ultra Mobility Group. Another one, code-named
Magic, was a triple-folding device that opened one way to display a screen and
keyboard, and another way as a media player with controls on the outside. Because
it's about the size of a men's deodorant stick, Chandrasekhar called it the
"speed stick."

In a video about the design concepts, Intel showed one being used for social
networking, with a map at one end of the wide screen, pictures of friends at
the other, and a messaging interface in between. Another video showed a user
playing different songs at either end of the screen and mixing them as a disc
jockey would.

All of the designs were just possible interpretations of what OEMs (original
equipment manufacturers) may do with Moorestown. Also at the event, Intel displayed
three larger devices based on the Menlow chip package, recently renamed Atom
Centrino, which will show up in products on the market in the second quarter.

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