Intel Capital, the global investment arm of US chip manufacturer Intel (NYSE: INTC), has created a US$300mn fund to help drive innovation in ultrabooks over the next 3-4 years, the company said in a statement.
The Intel Capital Ultrabook Fund aims to invest in companies building hardware and software technologies focused on enhancing how people interact with ultrabooks, achieving all-day usage through longer battery life, enabling innovative physical designs and improved storage capacity.
Intel's strategy to foster growth of this new laptop category includes three phases. Step one will be the launch of Intel's second generation of Core processors this year.
Step two includes Intel's next generation processor family Ivy Bridge, which is expected to be available in systems in the first half of 2012.
And step three will be Intel's Haswell processors, expected for 2013.
In addition to the Intel Capital Ultrabook Fund, Intel Capital has several other dedicated funds to drive innovations in specific geographies and technology areas. In Latin America, the company has a country-specific fund called the Brazil Technology Fund.
The ultrabook is a new laptop concept coined by Intel, much like the netbook some time ago. The size of these devices places them in the ultraportable genre. Intel describes them as thin and light devices with the performance and capabilities of today's laptops and tablet-like features.
Asus UX21 was the first ultrabook shown at the IT expo Computex 2011 earlier this year, though several companies have reportedly announced plans to start manufacturing ultrabooks based on Intel, such as Acer, LG Electronics and Lenovo.