Intel aims to bring back ultrabook era magic with Project Athena


At the company’s CES 2019 keynote, Intel revealed a renewed effort to push PC hardware manufacturers to create what it referred to as “a new class of laptops.”

If this sounds familiar, you aren’t wrong. The chip maker aims to rekindle the innovation of the early 2010s ‘Ultrabook’ laptop era through a new initiative dubbed ‘Project Athena.’

Though the company didn’t provide many details during its keynote, Intel says that this effort involves a focus on 5G and artificial intelligence. The chipmaker also stated that manufacturers will need to follow a certification process for their devices to be included in Project Athena.

Intel’s Ultrabook effort resulted in laptop manufacturers releasing thinner and lighter devices. When it comes to Project Athena, the overarching goal seems a little less structured. It’s unclear what specific specs PC manufacturers will need to include in their devices to be part of Project Athena.

The company did confirm that “worry-free” battery life, a constant connection to the internet, performance, AI and the vaguest of what has been revealed so far, an emphasis on “form factor and interaction.”

Intel says that the first Project Athena devices will be released in 2019. The company says notable laptop companies like Acer, Asus, Dell, Google, HP, Microsoft, Samsung and more have signed up for Project Athena.

Along with Project Athena, Intel also revealed its 10nm (nanometer) 9th-generation ‘Ice Lake’ desktop and laptop processors will include Core i3, Core i7 and Core i9 variants.