[AI] Netbooks, NetTops are coming

renuka warriar erenuka at gmail.com
Sat Mar 8 23:26:56 EST 2008

Date:09/03/2008 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2008/03/09/stories/2008030955071100.htm 

Netbooks, NetTops are coming 

Special Correspondent 

New Atom chips for tomorrow's ultra small Internet devices 


Hard disks will be replaced with rugged solid state storage

Software was developed by engineers

at Intel's India-based facilities


Bangalore: The saga of the incredible shrinking personal computer continues. Last week, chip making leader Intel announced the world's smallest, least power-hungry
processor, packing 47 million of the world's tiniest transistors ever squeezed into a slab of silicon, so small that 15 of them would fit into a 50-paise

They called it the Atom. While ticking away at a very decent 1.8 billion times a second, it typically consumes around a watt or two of power compared to
the 35 watts Intel's own dual core PC processors demand today.

Two avatars 

The micro (literally!) chip will be available in two avatars: one will fuel the new class of Ultra Mobile PCs or UMPCs, similar to the HCL MyLeap X that
was based on the Intel Classmate PC design or the EeePC from Asus, both of which are now available in India. 

The other, smaller, chip is expected to launch a new class of Mobile Internet Devices or MIDs: even smaller personal connection appliances that will hopefully
provide millions of the world's 'unconnected' people with a handy, easy-to-use and affordable device to access the Internet, and perform basic personal
productivity tasks. 

Intel calls these new devices, Netbooks or NetTops to distinguish them from notebooks and desktops of today.

No one knows quite what shape these new Internet devices will take - but we can see a few technologies going into them: movable storage elements like hard
disks will be replaced with rugged solid state storage based on Flash, the same technology that makes all those thumb drives. 

Today you can get thumb drives of up to 16 GB, and expect to see that double soon, so that the new generation MIDs will soon come with around 40 GB of onboard
storage. The screen will shrink to between 4 and 7 inches across anything smaller and they will begin to look like mobile phones. 

Briefing The Hindu, R. Sivakumar, Intel's Managing Director for South Asia, said key drivers and other software for the Atom chip family were developed
by engineers at Intel's India-based development facilities. 

They continue to innovate so that together with engineers at the company's other centres they would come up, some time in the future, with a System on a
Chip, a single chip that performs all electronic functions of the appliance it fuels. Small is beautiful, did someone say? It might just be powerful as

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