Intel unveils latest tablet PC processor; inks wearable development deal with Fossil

Intel used the IFA consumer electronics show to unveil a new processor for two-in-one tablet PCs it said slashes power consumption relative to its previous silicon, and also announced a wearable device collaboration with fashion accessory company Fossil.

The U.S. chipmaker said its Core M processor is designed for fanless, razor-thin, ultra-mobile devices, and provides up to double the battery life compared to silicon used in a typical four-year-old laptop PC. The latest processor is half the size of previous chips, which Intel said allows manufacturers to produce devices 9mm thick or less.

Intel's chip has already been selected for use in two-in-one devices by vendors including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Toshiba. A two-in-one device is one that can be used as a traditional laptop, or as a tablet PC when the display is flipped round.

Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of personal computing at Intel, said the introduction of the Core M processor is a "milestone" in the company's mission to "transform mobile computing."

The silicon "is the first of a new product family designed to deliver the promise of one of the world's thinnest laptops and highest performance tablets in a single 2 in 1 device," Skaugen added.

Intel also detailed plans to jointly develop wearable technology for the fashion industry with Fossil during the IFA event, which is taking place in Berlin until Sept. 10.

The companies will work together to identify and develop emerging trends in the wearable sector. Intel Capital--the company's global investment organisation--will also work with Fossil to evaluate potential investment opportunities in emerging technologies.

Mike Bell, VP of Intel and GM of the company's New Devices Group, said Fossil's "ability to design innovative fashion accessories and to create, market and distribute globally" gives Intel confidence the partnership will be productive.

In a related blog post, Bell explained Intel has been under pressure to deliver on some of the innovations it displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, including "our biometric ear buds, a smart headset, a wireless charging bowl, and a wearable bracelet with compute capabilities."

Intel last month announced it is working with SMS Audio to develop the ear bud product, and followed that up last week by revealing it will launch a connected bracelet in conjunction with Opening Ceremony by the year end.

"We also acquired Basis, a cool, young company that overnight provided us with an experienced team, great technology, and arguably one of the best health and wellness tracking wearables on the market," Bell noted.

For more:
- see Intel's Core M announcement
- read this Fossil press release
- view Mike Bell's blog

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Renee James, president, Intel - 2014 Influential Women in Wireless

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