Laptops traditionally don’t have a lot of battery life or performance. With ultrabooks, the most you can get is around 7-8 hours on low brightness with not many apps open. Heavy use of any sort brings it down further.
Intel is trying to remedy that with Project Athena. This project aims to improve performance in laptops, increase battery life in a sleek form factor, which is easier said than done.
What Intel has proposed looks really good on paper but might take some time to implement. If we look at Samsung, the Galaxy Fold renders looked perfect on paper but we all know what happened in real life.
Intel wants to serve a new level of responsiveness, long real-world battery life and a price of around $800 on the same plate.
Let’s see what Project Athena is all about.
Intel has always strived for longer battery life, unfortunately, it is only possible to get the maximum hours in flight mode with lightweight tasks. However, this time, Intel is focusing on real-world usage which includes streaming HD videos, internet browsing, and multiple other battery draining tasks.
Laptop makers that apply for project Athena will have to undergo a special rigorous test including high screen brightness, web browsing, video streaming and a number of other applications. They are aiming for at least 9 hours of battery life. The laptops also need to have fast charging where 30 minutes of charge will give the users 4 hours of running time.
All this will be done at Project Athena Open Labs, where Intel experts will be available around the clock to help fine tune the laptops to meet the standards. The lab will be opened in June and will be located in the US, China and Taiwan.
Another angle Intel is working for battery optimization is camera-based AI solutions. One of the most battery draining components of a laptop is its display. Intel’s research argues that if you run a Full HD video on a laptop, the screen accounts for 50% of the power being used.
Here’s where the camera-based AI comes in. The laptop’s display will automatically turn off or dim itself if you’re looking away or away from the keyboard. This makes it more battery efficient, adding valuable minutes to its battery life.
Another idea is to blur the screen when you’re away from your keyboard for privacy concerns.
To save power, the chipmaker proposes using efficient display technology like an LPDT display.
LPDT display, that only consumes 1-Watt of power, can be used to save battery life but for the sake of other manufacturers, Intel wants to tap into the existing solutions that are easier to implement. The components involved in this proposed solution only require milli-watts of energy.
Project Athena laptops will be available on the market from the second half of 2019. At least 10 Project Athena laptops were promised by Intel. All we have to do now is wait.