New Intel UMPC platform coming on April 18?

Last month, Intel revealed that it was cooking up a 45nm processor specifically designed for ultra-mobile PCs, but the firm may also have some shorter-term plans for the UMPC market. According to a report by HKEPC, Intel intends to launch a brand new UMPC platform code-named McCaslin with a new, unannounced processor on April 18.

HKEPC shows slides that say the new UMPC platform will include a code-named “Stealey” processor as well as a new “Little River” north bridge and an ICH7-U south bridge. Stealey will have a die size of 14mm by 19mm, notably smaller than the 35x35mm die of the ultra-low voltage Pentium M “Dothan” chip in current Intel-based UMPCs. Overall, the slides say the new platform’s processor, north bridge, and south bridge will take up an aggregate 975mm² of space, compared to 2915mm² for the existing Pentium M-based platform.

Thermal dissipation will go down from a 12.6W maximum and 3.4W average with the existing platform to a 9.3W maximum and a 1.95W average with the new platform, and battery life will reportedly climb from around 2-3 hours to a target of 4-5 hours. It’s probably safe to bet that smaller die areas will cut production costs, too, which might help make UMPCs somewhat more affordable.

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    • Snake
    • 14 years ago

    “Somewhat more affordable”?

    Really, if these companies want to move the volumes [necessary to recover development costs], they need to get the price down a lot more than just “somewhat more affordable”.

    For most people a UMPC is a secondary (or even a tertiary) system and the average person isn’t going to drop over $1K for a system described as such.

    They need to hit the lower-cost laptop target, which will get people thinking of the laptop idea but want yet more portability. They need to hit the $500-$600 mark, or thereabouts I figure, before they will even /[

      • UberGerbil
      • 14 years ago

      That’s very true. $500 is at about the upper end, actually, since that’s pretty much the top of the “smartphone” range and those are more generally useful (and justifiable) as, well, a phone. Not to mention often somewhat subsidized by a plan. So $500 may be the point where they start to move in volume, but really they need to hit that “OLPC” mark of $200-$300. I could actually see these things used for vertical apps (hospitals, factory floor, etc) where you see some pretty specialized (and expensive) hardware today — which could get volumes up enough to push prices down — but there are other considerations in those segments (ruggedness, etc).

      The trouble is it’s not just the CPU and chipset that makes these things expensive. There’s a lot of non-commodity (ie non-cheap) engineering in the things, just like thin/light and ultraportable laptops.

    • Flying Fox
    • 14 years ago

    FP!

    Good progress I guess. The 2-3 hour battery life of current gen UMPC bugs me. Will OQO be now able to squeeze an Intel CPU in? Or they have to wait for the newer platforms in 2008/2009 to be viable?

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