Intel and BMW unveils 'tomorrow's mobile office'

Intel and BMW have unveiled a prototype BMW 7 Series, which doubles as a mobile office at the CeBIT trade show in Hannover.

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Intel and BMW have unveiled a prototype BMW 7 Series, which doubles as a mobile office at the CeBIT trade show in Hannover.

The computing power comes from a Tablet PC fitted into the armrest on the back seat, along with a Bluetooth-enabled printer and fax machine.

For wireless connectivity the car has a WLan (wireless Lan) access point which connects to the outside world over GPRS and UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) third-generation telephone networks, which support wireless data services.

"It's just a prototype, so don't go asking BMW for one just yet ... but the automotive industry is working on these type of advances," said Christian Morales, general manager of Intel's Europe, Middle East and Africa operations.

Intel has focused mainly on consumers at the CeBIT show this year.

The company showed a variety of home PCs and "entertainment PCs", which resemble DVD players and can connect to a PC to shuttle movies to wireless screens around the home. One of the DVD-like systems was a reference design built by Taiwan's First International Computer.

Intel also squeezed out a new chip set for consumer PCs codenamed Alderwood, a complement to the Grantsdale chip set unveiled earlier this year. Both are designed to improve the playback of video and other motion graphics on home PCs.

Grantsdale includes an integrated graphics chip and supports the PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) Express interconnect and DDR2 memory technologies.

Alderwood will also support PCI Express and DDR2 but is for systems with a separate graphics chip. Both are due out by the middle of this year, said Kevin Corbett, vice-president and chief technology officer for Intel's Desktop Platforms Group

James Niccolai writes for IDG News Service



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