updated 11:15 pm EDT, Wed August 10, 2011
Intel Capital raises 300m Ultrabook Fund
Intel's Capital division pledged itself to its ultrabook concept in earnest late Wednesday by starting up the Ultrabook Fund. A total of $300 million will go towards companies building the ultraportables as well as software to take advantage of them. The money will be spread over the course of the next three to four years.
The company was betting that ultrabooks would be an "important area for innovation" in computers as a whole, which were estimated to be worth $261 billion.
PC builders have already been working closely with Intel from the start and have been getting unusually direct guidelines for what they should use to make the thin-and-light PCs, including price ranges and the choice of materials. Depending on the screen size, ultrabooks should be no thicker than 0.7 or 0.8 inches and will often have real metal shells and solid-state drives.
Although it hasn't publicly acknowledged it so far, the spec is intended to get Windows PC builders making more exciting notebooks to offset the cannibalization effect from iPads and other tablets. Its direct template is the MacBook Air as it provides much of the portability and instant responsiveness of a tablet in a design that lets Intel steer users away from cheaper but lower-profit netbooks. The first known ultrabook, the ASUS UX21, is uncannily close in some respects to its Apple roots.