Intel Corporation has unveiled a new design of the Intel-powered classmate PC at the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai.
As announced in a keynote by Andrew Chien, Intel vice president, Corporate Technology Group and director of Intel Research, the second-generation Intel-powered classmate PC is an affordable, fully functional, rugged Internet-centric computer platform.
The Intel designed computer offers different choices to manufacturers so each can tailor laptop models for a variety of education needs. The new classmate PC blueprint is a new innovation and educational tool for parents and teachers to use technology, computers and internet access to better educate students around the world.
“Only 5% of the world’s children today have access to a PC or to the Internet,” Chien said.
“Education is one of the best examples of how technology improves our lives. We have seen how technology helps teachers create fun learning experiences more efficiently. We have also been touched by children’s excitement when they are inspired by technology. The Intel-powered classmate PC is one of the ways we support the IT industry in spreading the benefits of technology in education for children around the world.”
The second-generation classmate PCs are built on Intel Celeron M processor with 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and mesh network capabilities. The top range of these netbooks includes a 9-inch LCD screen, 6-cell battery life, 512 MB memory, a 30 GB HDD (hard disk drive) storage and an integrated webcam.
An Intel powered classmate PC supports Microsoft Windows XP and variants of the Linux operating environment. When pre-installed with the education software stack, these netbooks are ideal for classroom-learning environment. Software and content will be available in more than eight languages.
More than 80 software and hardware vendors, content providers, educational services providers and local OEMs have been working with Intel to develop a complete infrastructure that supports the Intel-powered classmate PC.
Chien also said future Intel-powered classmate PCs will be built with the Intel Atom processor. It is an energy-efficient, low-cost computer chip designed to provide wireless capability to small mobile computing devices such as netbooks.
The updated child-sized computer will continue to be deployed as part of the Intel World Ahead Program, a global initiative aimed at spreading digital accessibility and educational opportunities.
The digital transformation
Chien also discussed how the second-generation classmate PC is a proof point of the digital transformation he believes is underway today. He highlighted several more digital advances including the use of a cascaded silicon Raman laser as a low-cost mthane gas detector and talked about a novel holistic platform power management technology to significantly improve the energy efficiency of a wide range of platforms.
He addressed emerging digital consumer applications such as personal robotics and computational photography as fronts where this transformation is taking place by demonstrating Fuwa, a personal robot from the Fudan University and ReFocus Imaging’s light field camera.
Intel architecture is also transforming with the multi-core movement in mainstream, parallel computing. This will require new programming techniques and languages at the heart of Intel’s tera-scale computing research program.
Chien, along with Dr. Zhang Xia, chief technology officer of Neusoft, demonstrated Ct, a new parallel programming language from Intel research that will make programming for many-cores more efficient than what is possible today. Chien says Intel’s research is poised to tackle both the opportunities and the challenges that lie ahead with the Digital Transformation.
Renee James: Creating the future in software
Also at IDF, Renee James, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Software and Solutions Group, illustrated the crucial role software plays in unlocking the power of hardware and ultimately creating a better computing experience.
She highlighted visual computing and mobile applications for MIDs as two important, rapidly growing areas of software development and announced the Intel C++ Software Development Tool Suite for Linux OS Supporting MIDs.
James also announced the Intel Certified Solutions program. This new software testing and validation service will enable Intel Software Partner Program members to deliver high-quality solutions that are certified to meet rigorous standards for security, interoperability and maintainability, and are optimised for Intel technologies.
This new service offering, provided by SpikeSource, will help software vendors reduce development costs and produce more trustworthy solutions that work well on Intel platforms.
In conjunction with this certification initiative, Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment organisation, has made an additional investment of US$10 million in SpikeSource. Intel and SpikeSource are initially offering the service as an early adopter program with broader availability expected later this year.
Intel and Epic Games launched the $1 Million Intel Make Something Unreal Contest for aspiring game developers to create modifications (mods) for the PC version of Unreal Tournament 3.
Winnings include an Unreal Engine 3 license and more than US$500,000 in cash and prizes including Intel Software Development Products and PCs based on Intel Core2 Extreme quad-core processors.