Intel Capital to Launch $300M ‘Ultrabook’ Fund

Intel Capital is set to unveil a $300 million investment fund for startups developing technology for its new “ultrabook” category of computers.

The chipmaker showed off the computer design this May at the Computex trade show in Taipai, describing it as a cross between a lightweight laptop, such as a MacBook Air, and a tablet. The company hopes to be a supplier of microprocessors for the machines.

On Thursday, its venture capital arm, Intel Capital, is set to announce the creation of the fund. The fund is expected to back startups developing new user experiences, longer battery life, slimmer components and new platform technologies. It expects the fund to be invested in three to four years.

“The Intel Capital Ultrabook Fund aims to invest in companies building hardware and software technologies focused on enhancing how people interact with ultrabooks, such as through sensors and touch, achieving all-day usage through longer battery life, enabling innovative physical designs and improved storage capacity,” the company said in a press release.

The ultrabook is Intel’s latest attempt to play a bigger role in the emerging category of low-power, super slim computing devices – including tablets – expected to dominate the PC market in coming years. The company expects its upcoming microprocessor designs ‘Ivy Bridge’ in 2012 and ‘Haswell’ in 2013 to be used in the new machines.