Is there room for another category of devices? Intel thinks so, and Intel Capital today announced a $300 million Ultrabook Fund to drive the category designed to marry the capabilities of laptops with tablet-like features.
Ultrabook devices promise to deliver a "highly responsive and secure experience in a thin, light and elegant design at mainstream prices," according to Intel.
In a press release, the company said the Intel Capital Ultrabook Fund aims to invest in companies building hardware and software technologies focused on enhancing how people interact with Ultrabooks, 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 three to four years, is to create a cycle of innovation and system capabilities for the new category of mobile devices.
Intel's strategy includes the company's 2nd Generation Intel Core processors, a family of products to enable the thin designs at mainstream prices; systems based on these chips are expected for the 2011 holiday shopping season. Intel says it has worked closely with its customers to make sure Ultrabook devices deliver compelling value, and many OEMs have been collaborating with the company.
The next-generation Intel processor family, code-named "Ivy Bridge," is scheduled for availability in systems in the first half of 2012. Intel's planned 2013 products, code-named "Haswell," are expected to reduce power consumption to half of the "thermal design point" for today's microprocessors.