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Personal Computing Segment Poised for Strong Growth
Apr 28, 2006
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Several electronics vendors introduced a new class of hand-held consumer electronics device that attempts to offer consumer and communications functions, combined with a full-function PC. Based on a traditional PC platform, the Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) overcomes many of the computing limitations associated with other Consumer Electronics (CE) devices, such as cellular phones, and the mobility limitations of existing PCs.

High-tech market research firm In-Stat believes the potential for UMPC shipments could be as high as 7.8 million units by 2011. According to In-Stat, ASUS, Founder and Samsung are the first three OEMs introducing prototypes to capitalize on the new platform opportunity.

"It's ironic that the UMPC is now taking center stage close to a year and a half after Transmeta, a company focused on delivering processors for this very segment, finally had to call it quits as a processor vendor because of lack of market growth," said Jim McGregor, principal analyst with In-Stat. "As Intel aggressively moves into this market, they have emphasized that the processor performance just has to be 'good enough.' However, the processing solution will have to meet increasingly stringent power requirements as improvements in battery technology are not advancing at the same pace as the requirements."

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

  • The requirements of the UMPC will drive a new generation of low-power x86 processors, the current processor of choice, while inviting competition from other processor architectures.
  • There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution for all market segments.
  • The first UMPC generations will not have any unique features, but will attempt to build on a new usage model around defined price points.

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