Sierra adds 3G to Intel's new ultra mobile PC platform

Sierra adds 3G to Intel's new ultra mobile PC platform

Sierra will provide modules that add 3G wireless telecom functions to a new Intel ultra mobile PC (UMPC) platform.

Sierra Wireless will provide embedded wide-area wireless modules to a new Intel ultra mobile PC (UMPC) platform that enables devices to hook up to 3G wireless telecommunications, creating a new way to use a UMPC.

Until now, UMPCs from most companies, including Samsung Electronics and Asus, have included two wireless functions, WLAN for wireless Internet connections in a home, office, or other location near a Wi-Fi hot spot, and Bluetooth. Few other UMPCs, save Sony's Vaio VGN-UX50, which offers Cingular Enhanced Data GSM Environment (EDGE) WAN capabilities, provide a way to connect to the Internet away from civilisation.

The wireless modules from Sierra, would allow users to remain connected far out in the field, and lead to the development of many innovative, new UMPC devices, the company said.

Intel plans to make its ultra mobile PC chip kit available in the first half of next year, the company said at the Intel Developer Forum, which ended on Thursday. The company said the microprocessors in the platform would consume just half the power of ones used in current UMPCs, and would be 25 per cent smaller.

The chip kit was designed to allow developers to make smaller, cooler running UMPCs with longer battery life and new possible uses, Intel said.

The UMPC, code-named Origami earlier this year, is a new breed of handheld device promoted by Microsoft and Intel aimed at users requiring more PC-like functions and larger screens in a carry-around device. It falls somewhere between a tablet PC and a PDA in size, and runs on the Windows XP Tablet Edition OS.

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