Intel’s Project Athena is “Engineered for Mobile Performance”

Posted on August 10, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mobile, Windows 10 with 18 Comments

This week, Intel announced that laptops verified through its Project Athena program will feature a visual identifier labeled “Engineered for Mobile Performance.”

Yes. It’s a sticker.

“With Project Athena, we are fundamentally changing our approach to innovation by defining the program and its methodologies through the lens of how people use their devices every day,” Intel’s Josh Newman says. “On-the-move, ambitious people turn to their laptops across every facet of their lives – work, home, and passion projects. ‘Engineered for Mobile Performance’ refers to the high-quality experience consumers can expect from these laptops enabled by deep co-engineering from Intel and its partners.”

With Project Athena, Intel seeks to address the one major complaint about its PC-based processor chipsets, which is related to mobility. Intel has shown that its x86/x64 processors scale upwards well, but it’s been slow to address the threat from Qualcomm and other mobile chipset makers, whose products often offer more than double the battery life of Intel’s.

Dell is first to market with the new sticker: The new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has been verified to meet Project Athena’s requirements, which include “target specification and key experience indicators (KEIs)” such as instant action, performance and responsiveness, intelligence, battery life, connectivity and form factor. More Project Athena-verified laptops from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung will be available by the holiday selling season, Intel says.

So what are those target specifications? According to an Intel “fact sheet,” they include 16 or more hours of battery life in video playback or 9 or more hours of battery life in real-world performance conditions. The PCs must support instant resume, including system wake from sleep, in less than one second. And they must have an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, 8 GB or more of RAM and 256 GB or more of NVMe-based SSD storage. Gigabit LTE is optional.

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