Intel Capital, the investment arm of chip giant Intel Corporation, has announced a $300 Million Ultrabook Fund to fund technologies that will help deliver new and enhanced user experiences, longer battery life and slim component and platform technologies in personal computing.
Earlier this year, Intel pitched a new category of laptops, Ultrabooks, which are supposed have three distinct features: they are thinner (less than 20mm/0.8 inches), lighter than most existing laptops, and priced below $1,000 in order to become mainstream. Basically Intel says these devices will marry the performance and capabilities of today’s laptops with tablet-like features.
To help realize that vision, the Intel Capital Ultrabook Fund will invest in companies building hardware and software technologies focused on enhancing how people interact with this new form of device, Ultrabooks, such as through sensors and touch, achieving all-day usage through longer battery life, enabling innovative physical designs and improved storage capacity.
The overall goal of the fund, which will be invested over the next 3-4 years, is to create a cycle of innovation and system capabilities for this new and growing category of mobile devices.
This seems to be one part of Intel’s overall strategy to help make Ultrabooks a reality. Intel’s latest 2nd Generation Intel CoreTM processors will soon be released, which the company promises to enable thin, lightdesigns that are less than 21mm (0.8 inch) thick, and at mainstream prices. Systems based on these chips will be available for the 2011 winter holiday shopping season, says Intel.
Another processor, dubbed “Ivy Bridge,” which is scheduled for availability in systems in the first half of 2012, will promise improved power efficiency, smart visual performance, increased responsiveness and enhanced security. And Haswell” is expected to reduce power consumption to half of the “thermal design point” for today’s microprocessors.
This isn’t the first dedicated fund for Intel Capital. The investment firm also has country-specific funds such as the India Technology Fund, China Technology Fund II, Brazil Technology Fund and Middle East and Turkey Fund as well as past technology specific funds such as Intel Digital Home Fund and Intel Communications Fund. Intel says that its Intel Capital investment portfolio is currently valued at approximately $2.179 billion.