The Four Vectors of Ultrabook™ Development

Ultrabook™ devices come with capabilities that take personal computing to a whole new level. Their Intel® Core™ i3-i7 processors unleash the power and performance that mobile computing platforms of today envy. Be it connectedness, gaming, entertainment, or context awareness—Ultrabooks have it all. With built-in touch, sensors, and the Processor Graphics, Ultrabooks bring to your disposal a plethora of usage models that never before seemed imaginable.

For application developers, Ultrabooks running on Windows 8* open up a world of possibilities. Whether you are a new developer looking to write applications or have an application that you wish to enable for Ultrabooks, this article provides the resources you need to take advantage of the five platform vectors that together make everything else seem old-fashioned.

The Ultrabook Differentiation Vectors

Touch and sensors, graphics, power, and performance are the dominant Ultrabook vectors that set these devices apart. Each has its own benefits and challenges that application developers should learn about to leverage them to their best advantage. The Ultrabook Community is a one-stop place for developers to find resources that are valuable to develop applications that are optimized for performance and experience on these devices. In the sections that follow, you will find categorized resources you may need from application design through multiple phases of software development to take advantage of the differentiation that Ultrabooks provide.

Touch and Sensors

Contrary to conventional inputs, enabling an application for touch involves re-imagining app design for the best user experience. Windows 8 provides standard multi-touch gestures that will infuse new life into your application while adding a fluid and natural interactive element.

Ultrabooks also come equipped with a range of sensors like GPS, Accelerometer, Orientation sensors, Inclinometer, and Ambient Light Sensors (ALS). Gaming and entertainment applications can use these hardware features to captivate your audience’s attention through very imaginative usages. For example, you could design a dynamic user interface based on the device’s orientation or provide context awareness through ALS to dim or brighten the display based on surrounding light or use an accelerometer to control navigation in a game. In this section are the resources you will need to enable touch and sensor capabilities in your application.

Resources for Touch and Sensors:
http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/ultrabook-touch-and-sensors-resources/

Power

Ultrabooks are built for power savings and provide more than six hours of battery life. But it would be misleading to believe that power management is the realm of hardware alone. Software plays a crucial role in ensuring that your Ultrabook device handles power efficiently. An application that is not designed to take advantage of power saving features of the hardware can drain battery in more ways than can be obvious. This section introduces concepts like “Green Code” development and software criteria for energy efficiency and provides tools and resources to help you design and write applications that are power efficient.

Resources for Power Efficiency and Green Code development:
http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/developing-power-efficient-apps-for-ultrabook/

Performance

Ultrabooks are designed for performance, and mobility. These devices are perfect for games, movies, reading, and social networking—all on the go. Power and performance go hand in hand, and software has a crucial role to play in this balancing act. Designing your application for optimal performance ensures that your device conserves power and lasts longer on battery.

Ultrabooks are built with third generation Intel® Core ™ processors (code named Ivy Bridge) that have Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology enabled. The multi-core architecture allows developers to take advantage of the processing prowess through parallel programming. Processor Graphics enable load balancing and improve performance while conserving power. While the thought seems simple, designing applications for optimal performance requires careful consideration. This section introduces concepts like parallel optimization, guidelines for developing multi-threaded applications and provides resources and tools that help application developers discover and reduce performance bottlenecks and improve power efficiency.

Resources for enhancing performance of applications on Ultrabook™:
http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/performance-enhancement-on-ivy-bridge-ultrabook/

Graphics

Second generation Ultrabooks come with Intel Core processors. This microarchitecture includes Intel® HD Graphics, which means that both the CPU and GPU are on the same die. Graphics and gaming applications can now take advantage of the power and performance that this microarchitecture provides. When combined with the touch and sensor capabilities of Ultrabooks, gaming and graphics applications have at their disposal a plethora of usage models that was never before imaginable. You can learn about the Intel Core processor architecture, porting techniques, and best practices for game and graphics development using various graphics pipelines like DirectX*. You also have at your disposal the entire gamut of Intel® tools that will help you design and develop graphics applications that take full advantage of the Ultrabook hardware.

Resources for developing graphics applications for Ivy Bridge Ultrabook™ Devices:
http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/developing-graphics-applications-for-ivy-bridge-ultrabook/

With all these resources in your pocket, you are now ready to develop applications for Ultrabooks that make everything else seem old-fashioned!

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Copyright © 2012 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved.
*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

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