Intel and Google work together to change computer future

Intel and Google work closely together around Chromebook and the computer future

Chip maker Intel is on track in recent months to restart its plan. It has sold its smartphone chip to Apple and is currently searching for a buyer for its connected home division, as well as the difficult task of rethinking how long it’s been in bread and butter How best to deal with it, PC for change in computer future.

Project Athena
Project Athena

Part of the latter strategy is getting a major boost this week at CES 2020. Here, Intel is today announcing a deep partnership with Google to design chips and specifications for the Chromebook built on Project Athena. Project Athena has been announced for the first time last year, including both design and technical specs, for the purpose of building tomorrow’s high-performance laptop that can be used not only for work, but also for media streaming, gaming , Enterprise applications and more. Go – powered by Intel, naturally.

Project Athena has been announced for the first time last year, including both design and technical specs, for the purpose of building tomorrow’s high-performance laptop that can be used not only for work, but also for media streaming, gaming , Enterprise applications and more. Go – powered by Intel, naturally.

Project Athena Targets
Project Athena Targets

Earlier today, the first two Chromebooks built on those Athena specifications – from Samsung and Asus – were announced by related companies, and Intel says there will be more to come. And on the platform, Google joined Intel as its keynote speaker to reinforce the commitment of the two companies to the mission.

Gregory Bryant, GM of EVP and Intel’s customer computing group  said “We are furthering our partnership with Google to bring Athena to the Chromebook”.

For Intel, it is important to have a Chromebook roster using Athena as these have been very popular, and it brings its processors to machines used by people who want access to Google services for security and more , And its app ecosystem.

But increasing specifications for Chromebooks is as important for Google as it is for Intel in terms of bottom line and growing business.

“This is a significant change for Solomon,” said John Solomon, VP of Google for Chromos, in today’s interview. “Initially Chromebooks were successful in the education field, but in the next 18 months to two years, we plan to go on a wider scale.” Expansion for consumer and enterprise users. Those users have high expectations and have a broader idea of ​​using these devices. Accuse us of providing more performance. “

The renewed effort comes at an interesting time. The laptop market is generally in a tight spot these days. Overall, the personal computing market is in a state of decline, and is forecast to continue that way for the next several years.

But there is a slightly brighter picture for the types of machines that are coming out of collaboration such as the one between Intel, Google and other hardware: IDC reports that 2-in-1 devices–including portable PCs and removable tablets–and ultra-slim notebook PCs are “expected to grow 5 percent over the same period,” compared to a projected 2,5 percent annual growth rate from 2019 to 2023. There is no growth, therefore, but a large amount.

Smartphone market strength is against this. It is also believed to be facing many issues as many markets reach smartphone saturation and consumers are slow to upgrade.

All this is to say that there are challenges. And that’s why Intel, whose fortunes are so closely associated with personal computing devices because it makes processors for them, has a big push around projects like Athena.

As of this month, all laptops built for Athena specs are Windows PCs – from 25 to the present day – but Intel always said that initially the Chromebook would be part of the mix, helping with the total number of Athena-based devices. By the end of this year (adding 50 in 2020) to 75.

Chromebooks are a good area for Intel to focus on, as they seem to be driving growth for the broader market, despite how Chrome as a core tool and integrating side-by-side with some Chrome tools. The OS is conceived. Of apps. The IDC stated that in Q4 of 2019, growth was 19% year-on-year, and which I understand saw an even greater increase in the holiday period. According to NPD / Gfk, Chromebook had a market share of around 27% in the US last November.

What an interesting approach that Intel – and Google – are taking to develop. The Apple-style model is meant to ensure a disciplined and integrated approach and work to build vertical integration into its hardware business: Hardware specifications are specifically meant to handle the types of services that Apple implements itself to work on their devices, and in turn, assign very specific requirements to third parties to work on those services Apple itself when those services and applications are not original.

While Google is not in the business of making laptops or processors (yet?), And Intel also shies away from building more than just processors, what both have built here is an attempt to bring in a kind of disciplined specification that you made Can get into a vertically integrated business.

Bryant said “Making the best products and giving the best experience is all about it”.

“We can’t do this over the past 18 months without the help of Intel and closing engineering support,” Solomon said. “This is the start of more coming into this vacuum, with creativity not seen before.”

In reality, moving forward, Bryant and Solomon surprisingly won’t rule out that Athena will move beyond laptops and their collaboration.

“Our job is to make PC great. If we give value to consumers and there is a reason to buy a PC then we can keep the PC alive, ”said Bryant, but added that Intel also continues to keep the specification.

You’ll see an evolution of devices with dual displays or different types of hardware and form factors with a form factor, “he said.” Our goal is to extend and improve what we’ve seen today.

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