Thu, May 09, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Intel ‘open lab’ to innovate laptops

ATHENA ECOSYSTEM:At least 10 new PC models are to be released this year via the platform that aims to prioritize user experience through collaboration

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Intel Corp yesterday said it is investing in three new labs in Taipei, Shanghai and Folsom, California, as it seeks to help laptop makers accelerate rollouts of their next-generation models via a broader ecosystem that includes component suppliers.

The three “open labs” are to become operational next month through the chipmaker’s Project Athena, which was announced in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

At least 10 models from PC companies in the program are to hit the market by the end of this year, with the first launch scheduled for some time in the second half of the year.

Major original equipment manufacturers and original design manufacturers such as Acer Inc (宏碁), Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) and Samsung Electronics Inc, as well as laptop newcomers such as China’s Huawei Technologies Co (華為) and Xiaomi Corp (小米), have participated in the project, Intel said.

Flat-panel makers such as Innolux Corp (群創) and Sharp Corp, and suppliers of camera lenses, sensors and batteries are also part of the Athena ecosystem, Intel said.

Enabling its partners to conduct assessments, tuning and compliance at the labs would help deliver optimal products, it said.

The new laptops would be of “premium focus,” Intel PC innovation division vice president and general manager Joshua Newman said in Taipei yesterday.

“The significant difference from what we did before is that we are verifying those designs targeting user experience. It is not about driving technology, not just about getting Wi-Fi on laptops or getting laptops thinner,” Newman said.

The project aims to bring more innovation to next-generation laptops based on user experience through collaboration in the ecosystem, he said.

“We are looking at [new] designs and form factors to adapt to your daily life,” HP Inc product management vice president Josephine Tan (陳巧鳳) said.

The lab’s operation would help HP create more innovative laptops and stimulate replacement demand, she said.

About 600 people representing 180 companies participated in a Project Athena Ecosystem Symposium in Taipei yesterday to prepare for the first wave of designs.

Meanwhile, Newman reiterated Intel chief executive officer Robert Swan’s remarks that an Intel central processing unit shortage might ease next quarter as the company last year invested more into boosting production capacity for its 14-nanometer process technology.

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