Intel today showed off six new ultramobile PCs. The UMPCs are designed around Intel's Menlow chip, which will be launched in mid 2008.

Five of the ultramobile PCs were designed by Taiwanese companies, and it will be a first for four of them if they actually market the products. Asustek is the only Taiwanese company of the group that has already launched an ultramobile PC, but it showed off a sleeker design at the Intel Developer Forum in Taipei.

BenQ, a Taiwanese mobile phone and systems maker, displayed its first attempt at an ultramobile PC, as did laptop PC makers Quanta Computer, Compal Electronic, and Inventec.

Elektrobit, from Finland, also displayed an ultramobile PC.

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The six designs are all part of Intel's Mobile Internet Device Innovation Alliance, in which group members work together to solve engineering troubles associated with creating a small device able to connect to the internet. The companies are expected to launch ultramobile PCs using Menlow microprocessors in the first half of 2008, and will probably display the items at the official launch of the Intel microprocessor.

Menlow is the codename given to a set of chips Intel is developing for ultramobile PCs and MIDs (mobile internet devices), due out next year. Menlow will include a low-power microprocessor codenamed Silverthorne and a chipset codenamed Poulsbo, according to Intel.

The company also showed off a mock-up of a product designed around its Moorestown chips, which are due out in 2009. The mock-up was about 8x3in, with a touchscreen on one side and a 6Mp video camera on the other. It was made to show hardware makers what's possible with Moorestown, said Gadi Singer, vice president of the Mobility Group at Intel. It is not being developed as a reference design, said Singer, who said he is not aware of any Intel partners currently making similar products.

Moorestown is the codename for the chips that will replace Menlow. Intel expects to put the functions of several chips on to one with Moorestown, including the microprocessor, graphics, video and memory controller, and ensure a 10 times reduction in power consumption compared to today's chips.

Archive: Intel to upgrade UMPC platform