Intel will demonstrate ultrabooks running Windows 8, which will include a revamped touch-based user interface, said Insight 64's Brookwood. Tablets currently are ideal for content consumption, but Windows 8 ultrabooks could ultimately be interchangeably used as PCs or tablets to consume or create content, Brookwood said.
An Intel spokesman said a three-phase rollout for Ultrabooks will be detailed at the show, but did not provide further information. Some ultrabooks that have already been announced, such as Lenovo's IdeaPad U300S, form the first wave, and are based on Sandy Bridge microprocessors. Intel has said that the second wave of ultrabooks will reach consumers early next year and be based on upcoming Ivy Bridge chips, which are faster and more power-efficient than Sandy Bridge processors. The Ivy Bridge ultrabooks will get touchscreens that can swivel or slide out.
Intel at IDF may also share details on Haswell, the successor to Ivy Bridge, which will form the third wave of ultrabooks, reaching consumers in 2013. Intel has said the graphics engine integrated in Haswell will deliver greater performance than any current mobile discrete card while consuming just 15 watts of power.
Intel is on a trajectory to improving chips through manufacturing advances as it tries to catch up with ARM on power consumption. Intel will share more details about its manufacturing efforts to achieve improved performance and power efficiency on chips at IDF. The chip maker earlier this year introduced 3D transistors, which will make chips smaller and more power efficient. The transistors will be available in chips made using the 22-nanometer process, which should reach laptops early next year.
Intel is also expected to make announcements around integrated security offerings with McAfee, which is operating as a separate unit within Intel. Intel completed the $7.68 billion acquisition of McAfee earlier this year.