Column: CeBIT Hannover - Day 2
Yes we can?
With loud music, numerous statistics and visions of the future Asus and Intel tried to set the mood at the official opening of the Cebit 2009 – despite the crisis. Actual new models as well as concepts and studies could be viewed. While Intel sets on a further downsizing of its CPU architecture, Asus still relies especially on the Eee concept for the future.
Intel started the exposition day with a big press conference. After a loud music roar, Dr. Craig R. Barrett, Chairman of the Intel Board, came on stage and got started on Intel's development plans for the future right away. According to these, new research centers are to be built up in Europe, more precisely in Munich and Leixlip/Ireland. With new developments and especially research a difficult future will be stridden on, according to this.
In order to get the idea of how Intel wants to manage to do this across to the attendees, a further video was injected quickly. Title: "What it needs to build a fab." Sequences of highly technologized, fully automated and sterile laboratories and fabric buildings showed the new production plant for the 32 nanometer chip in Arizona. Even if rarely, every now and then a few wrapped completely in white, almost ethereal figures scurried through the picture, probably the obviously very small crew of the gigantic machine. No staff – no problems with the union – no problems in the crisis. It can be as simple as that…
After this the exciting part started. Intel presented its timetable of the production of the CPUs till 2013. Successive to the current 32-nanometer (nm) technology the next step towards 22nm will be made in 2011. In 2013 it should be diminished even further to a mere 16nm.
What's that good for? Well, Intel shows that leakage currents could be reduced by approx. 5% in comparison to the predecessors of the 32nm chip – less power requirement, less cooling load. Due to the minimized chip surface, considerably more transistors could be accommodated which increases the efficiency and above that, also opens the door for multi-core chips with 8 cores and more.
A new processor in desktops as well as in the mobile field with the code names Lynnfield and Clarksfield (notebooks) await us this year after the already presented Core i7 chip 2008. In the 4th quarter chips named Clarksdale and Arrendale will follow.
The second event of big general interest was without a doubt the press conference from Asus. Jonney Shih, Chairman Asus Computers, evoked the attendees almost meditatively with the past achievements from Asus (Europa +119% market shares) word…after…word and also revealed his visions for the future.
"…maintain the spirit of innovation." – was the quintessence of his more-minute monologue.
After listing past innovations from Asus, like the first deployment of a magnesium-aluminum alloy for the cases of notebooks, the first deployment of polycarbonate or carbon fibers in single components, up to the U6 series, with admittingly very attractive, felicitous bamboo appliqués in the area of the wrist rests, he went on with upcoming innovations.
Amidst booming bass sounds and catwalk-beats the "Germany's next top model", alias Carolin Ruppert, came on stage once again and brought out the cornerstones of the new Asus product pallet into the hall, one after the other. It started off with a sample out of the Asus UX series, a representative of the upcoming "ultra-slim notebook". With support from the Asus Super Hybrid Engine, Asus is striving for an optimal balance of performance and slimness. An illuminated keyboard and touchpad as well as a LED display were mentioned casually as facts of the UX.
It was clear from the start that the Eee-PC will naturally contribute a significant share in the future of Asus. Therefore, it wasn't much of a surprise as the Eee 1008HA "Seashell" came on stage. Er – no, to be correct, it was carried naturally; only Carolin Ruppert's stiletto heels touched the soft carpet of the podium, of course.
Besides the further pared-down and tendency towards the ultra-slim designed case, particularly the new input software, the "Eee-Arena" was praised. This should additionally increase the operating range of the Eee and even convince the less technical experienced user.
Last but not least, the Eee keyboard was once again presented, a keyboard with attached touchpad or rather a mini monitor reduced to a mini pc, which can transmit pictures to your monitor or HD-TV.
A few ideas from Asus about the future made an interesting conclusion. For instance, a dual panel touch screen PC where the display as well as the keyboard is replaced by a touch screen, opening completely new application concepts. It remains to be seen if Asus scores with this like with the ur-Eee PC.
After all that talk about trends and visions of mobile technologies, we'd like to again reward you today with the "Notebook-Chick of the Day". Enjoy.