Gadgets

What to expect from Intel at CES

Intel is holding its annual press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday, and it has described in broad terms what to expect, just so the leaks to the news media don’t get out of control. We may see some new chips from the world’s biggest chipmaker but not the set-top box that the company has been working on as a rival to Apple TV.

Paul Otellini, chief executive of Intel (he retiring this spring), will not make an appearance. Instead, Kirk Skaugen is hosting the event; he’s the corporate vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group, an Intel spokesman said. Skaugen will likely show off Haswell, a new fourth-generation Core processor aimed at low-power, high-performance mobile devices. Haswell promises to make laptops and tablets much more powerful and power-efficient at the same time.

Intel will continue to focus on Windows 8’s capability to stretch across PCs and tablets. Skaugen will offer updates on Intel-based tablet computers, which are now shipping in the market. He will also talk about Ultrabooks (thin and light laptops) and convertibles (which combine features of laptops and tablets). Intel-based tablets are likely to be on display at the show, as computer makers now fully believe in the touchscreen trends. And Intel will likely talk about lower-power Ivy Bridge chips, based on its earlier generation of combo graphics-microprocessor chips. Those chips will likely run at below 10 watts of power consumption.

Mobile head Mike Bell will talk about new devices such as smartphones, but Intel will not likely say much about new mobile chip customers until later this spring at the Mobile World Congress event. That may disappoint some folks who want to see Intel make more progress in its expansion from the PC into mobile devices.

Mooly Eden, who hosted the press event for the last few years, now runs Intel Israel and he will make a cameo appearance to talk about Intel’s progress on “perceptual computing,” or using gestures and voice to enhance the touchscreen, keyboard and mouse input features of the PC. But those features aren’t necessarily going to arrive right away in new models.

Intel has already gotten notice for its work on a set-top box to rival Apple TV, but the spokesman said that it will not be shown at CES. Some work is going on at Intel, but it’s not ready yet. The Wall Street Journal reported that negotiations with content partners have delayed any announcement. CES press events start on Sunday, but the show floor opens on Tuesday and runs through Friday.


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