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Intel Announces New Category of Thin 'UltraBook' Notebooks, Shares Chip Roadmap

When it comes to notebooks, thin is in, according to Intel. Today at Computex Taipei, Intel Executive VP Sean Maloney predicted that, by the end of next year, 40 percent of the laptop market will be made up of a new class of super slim laptops the company calls "Ultrabooks."

With prices under $1,000, thicknesses of .8-inches or less, and high-caliber performance, the first Ultrabooks will use Intel's 2nd Generation Core Series CPUs and be available this fall. ASUS's 11.6-inch UX21 notebook, announced earlier this week, will be among the first Ultrabooks and will weigh just over 2 pounds and offer instant-on funcationality.

Intel's next generation of CPUs, codenamed "Ivy Bridge" will arrive in the first half of 2012 and enable even more powerful Ultrabooks with their 22nm technology. After "Ivy Bridge," will come another generation of chips codenamed "Haswell" which will use half as much power as today's CPUs, allowing for even thinner and lighter designs.

Intel Atom Roadmap

Intel also announced that it is accelerating development on its Atom family of processors. Within three years, the company expects to move from 32nm to 22nm to just 14nm. The 32nm version of Atom will be called "Cedar Trail" and will allow for ultra-thin, fanless devices with over 10 hours of battery life.

At Computex, Maloney also talked about "Medfield," Intel's tablet and phone platform. He even showed off a Medfield tablet running Android Honeycomb and promised that Medfield-based devices would hit the market sometime in the first half of 2012.