Because a platform approach, like the one we advocate at Intel, is critical
The following is an opinion piece by Chris Walker and Jim Johnson of Intel Corporation.
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In 2018, Intel brought together its ecosystem partners to create an advanced PC experience. They worked together to innovate beyond the central processing unit and drive innovation across the platform – from silicon to software and beyond. (Credit: Intel Corporation)
We live in an era where information technology is pervasive in the way we interact with society. From work to education to entertainment, the PC is a fundamental and more essential tool than ever as the global pandemic reshapes our world. This PC rebirth features new features, form factors, and a wide choice that is augmented to meet our modern and unique needs. It has also helped fuel consecutive years of industry growth beyond the expectations of many.
At Intel, we have always believed that the PC was an enduring device, which is why in 2018 our team decided to reinvigorate and tackle a new course in PC innovation. That was the year we began to rally our ecosystem partners in an industry-wide effort to innovate beyond the central processing unit (CPU) and drive innovation across the platform – from silicon to software and beyond. The result? An advanced PC experience.
It has been a journey and we are by no means finished, but it is a good opportunity to reflect on how far we have come and where we still want to go.
Looking back on 2018, our first step was to conduct thorough research to understand what people want and need most from their PC. This involved our Project Athena innovation program, which taught us at the most basic level that people want a PC that can keep up with their daily needs. This means something slightly different for everyone, but our attendees pointed to a common need for features like high-quality touchscreens, reliable connectivity, or just an improved form factor design. Participants also made it clear what they weren’t willing to compromise: performance, responsiveness, and battery life.
Based on this research, we needed to evolve from focusing on individual innovation, primarily at the CPU level, to co-designing, looking at the entire platform. This meant going beyond the adjacent silicon CPU, such as graphics or connectivity, and to areas such as thermals, battery, display, system memory, and storage. It also meant looking for ways to optimize at the software level, based on the specific operating system and the applications people use most. Finally, we took a look at any other tweaks we could have done on the entire stack.
By holistically looking at the entire platform, we were able to bring together the best industry experts to consider every detail, optimizing everything to deliver the best possible computing experiences.
You can start seeing the result of this in our new Intel® Evo ™ platform verified projects. Taking advantage of our 11th Generation Intel® Core ™ processors – the world’s best processor for thin and light laptops – Intel Evo designs have been created together with more than 150 partners to provide more than 140 components for verified laptop designs to deliver the best possible experience .
This huge effort took over 1 million hours across the industry. Take, for example, the opportunity we’ve seen to extend laptop battery life by addressing the display, the largest power consumption in a system. We partnered with major suppliers and customers to bring the 1 watt panel to market two years ago by aggregating demand, which provided another four to eight hours of battery life. Today, 75% of Evo designs use this capability. Meanwhile, nearly 40 of the new designs verified by the Intel Evo platform have been launched worldwide, including Acer Swift 5, Asus ZenBook Flip S, Dell XPS 13, HP Specter x360, Lenovo Yoga 9i, and Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 5G.
A new addition to the platform that we’re excited to unveil today is Intel® Visual Sensing Controller (codenamed “Clover Falls”), a secure companion chip that helps make PCs smarter and safer with the power of Intel artificial intelligence. This complementary module will arrive in commercial systems for the first time, bringing new low-power features to the PC and helping it to perceive and adapt to its surroundings. For example, the module could help the system automatically adjust the display brightness after detecting the presence of the user.
“Working with Intel is more than just buying a processor that works with our product,” said Meghana Patwardhan, vice president of Dell Latitude and Mobility Products. “The co-engineering commitment implies Intel’s commitment to jointly address unique product challenges and consider the entire system, all so that we can deliver exciting new platform capabilities to business users.”
This is just one of many examples made possible by this platform-level approach. Now more than ever the PC is an essential part of our life, keeping us in touch with the people and things we love most and helping us be productive, whenever, wherever and how we need to be. At Intel, we promise to continue to innovate, to continue to collaborate across the industry, and to continue to provide the platforms for the best possible PC experiences.
Chris Walker is corporate vice president and general manager of the Mobile Client Platforms Group at Intel Corporation. Jim Johnson is corporate vice president and general manager of Client Engineering at Intel Corporation.
Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) is an industry leader, creating world-changing technology that enables global progress and enriches life. Inspired by Moore’s Law, we continuously work to advance semiconductor design and manufacturing to help address our customers’ greatest challenges. By embedding intelligence in the cloud, the network, the edge and all kinds of computing devices, we unlock the potential of data to transform business and society for the better. For more information on Intel’s innovations, visit newsroom.intel.com and intel.com.
World’s best processor for thin and light laptops – as measured by industry benchmarks, Representative User Guide tests and unique features of the Intel® Core ™ i7-1185G7 processor, even compared to the AMD Ryzen 7 4800U, in 5 key uses: productivity, creation, play, collaboration and entertainment. Visit intel.com/11thgen for more details. Results may vary.
Intel Evo platform-based laptop designs verified to deliver the best possible experience: as measured by industry benchmark and representative User Guides testing and unique features of 11th Generation Intel® Core ™ i7 processors that power designs, which are co-engineered as part of Intel’s comprehensive laptop innovation program Project Athena has therefore tested, measured and verified against premium specifications and key experience indicators to ensure unprecedented user experiences. Visit intel.com/Evo for more details. Results may vary.
© Intel Corporation. Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
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