Intel’s three new Project Athena labs will help pave the way to 5G PCs

Gregory Bryant, Intel senior vice president in the Client Computing Group, displays a “Lakefield” reference board during Intel Corporation’s news event at CES 2019 on Jan. 7, 2019, in Las Vegas.
Gregory Bryant of Intel displays a “Lakefield” reference board during Intel’s news event at CES 2019. Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation

Intel revealed plans to open labs in three cities across the world in June to support the development of Project Athena. The Project Athena Open Labs will be located in Taipei, Taiwan; Shanghai, China; and Folsom, California. The chipmaker initially announced Project Athena earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show to help PC manufacturers create thinner laptops with long battery life and support for the next-generation 5G wireless broadband. The first Project Athena laptops are expected to debut later this year.

“Across the industry, we each play an important role in delivering the advanced laptops of today and the future,” Intel executive Josh Newman said in a statement. “Project Athena Open Labs are a critical step in enabling more extensive, day-to-day collaboration with the components ecosystem to continuously raise the bar for innovation across the platform.”

Manufacturers will be able to submit PC components and parts to these three labs for testing and validation. Engineers at each of the labs will test a variety of PC components — ranging from solid-state drives to wireless parts — to ensure that they meet the requirements for Project Athena. Once certified, they will be made available to manufacturers, like Dell, HP, and Lenovo, for consideration within their own product designs. The labs, Intel claimed, allows the next generation of advanced laptops to be “co-engineered” with partners across the ecosystem.

“Project Athena Open Labs will be the first step in readying the next wave of Project Athena designs for 2020 and beyond,” Intel said in a statement. “Independent hardware vendors (IHVs) will have the opportunity to submit parts for compliance assessment via Project Athena Open Labs, and Intel’s OEM partners can also nominate preferred component vendors for participation.”

Given Project Athena’s goals for thinner laptop designs that accommodate longer battery life and built-in 5G support, the Intel initiative could be seen as a way to stem threats from Qualcomm in the chip space. Qualcomm is working with Microsoft to bring Windows 10 on ARM-based PCs known as Always-On  PC. The platform eschews traditional processors made by Intel on PCs today in favor of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon solution to deliver a stated battery life of 20 hours, an always-connected internet experience, and thin designs. Though the platform is compatible with legacy Windows applications, unlike Microsoft’s prior Windows RT efforts, a common complaint among users is that emulating Windows applications on the ARM platform can be slow at times.

Product Review

Oppo’s cutting-edge Reno has a shark fin pop-up camera, and plenty of bite

The Oppo Reno has a very cool shark fin-style pop-up camera to make it stand out in a crowd, and a rear camera with a 10x zoom, plus there’s a 5G version coming soon. It’s truly up-to-date, with plenty of cutting-edge tech inside.
Mobile

Huawei's situation in the U.S. may improve when trade war is resolved

The U.S. Commerce Department has added Huawei to its "Entity List." Google, Intel, and ARM are all confirmed or rumored to be ceasing business with the company, which may have disastrous effects on Huawei.
Mobile

Cardinal red Galaxy S10 doesn't appear destined for the U.S.

Samsung 2019 flagship smartphone lineup is here, and there aren't just two phones as usual — there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.
Product Review

The first AMD-powered Chromebook will make you wish you had Intel inside

The HP Chromebook 14 is a budget Chrome OS laptop that cuts its price in part by choosing AMD over Intel and by using plastic instead of metal. The results are mixed.
Computing

The Dell XPS 13 headlines the best laptop deals for May 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we have you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Computing

HP drops killer deals on laptops with up to $1,300 off for Memorial Day Weekend

HP is currently dropping prices on Spectre x360, Envy, Pavilion, and Omen laptops during its Memorial Day event. So if you're in dire need of a new laptop, the latest holiday savings may be exactly what you're looking for.
Computing

Here’s how to watch AMD reveal its new Ryzen chips at Computex

AMD will be holding a pre-Computex keynote on May 27 to announce its new line of 3rd-generation Ryzen processors and accompanying Radeon Navi graphics cards. Here's how to watch the keynote live wherever you are in the world.
Computing

Keep your kids safe online with these great parental control tools

The internet can be a dangerous place, especially for your loved ones. Check out our selection of the best free parental control software for Windows and MacOS, so you can monitor your child and block unsavory sites.
Computing

These external drives have speed, durability, and storage space to spare

Whether you want an external storage drive that is fast, portable, or comes with a ton of storage, these are the best external hard drives available today. They all come with great features and competitive pricing.
Computing

The 2019 ThinkPad lineup is robust. Here's how to pick the right one for you

Be it the X series, the T series, E series, it can be tough to find the best Lenovo laptop that is right for you. To help, we'll break down all the options available to make your choice a more informed one.
Computing

Should you buy a MacBook Pro or a Razer Blade Stealth? We'll help you decide

Laptop head to heads are a great way to see which one might be the right one for you. Our latest sees the Razer Blade Stealth (2019) vs. MacBook Pro in a fight to see which one deserves to be your next laptop.
Computing

AMD's latest Navi graphics cards are incoming. Here's what to expect

AMD's Navi graphics cards could be available as soon as July 2019 — as long as it's not delayed by stock problems. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Computing

Ryzen 3000 chips will pack a punch, and could launch as early as July

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 generation of CPUs could be the most powerful processors we've ever seen, with higher core counts, greater clock speeds, and competitive pricing. Here's what we know so far.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.