ASUS and Intel Make Bold Moves to Innovate Laptop Experiences for the Future

By: Jason Cheah, Intel Story Labs.

As part of Intel’s vision for the future of laptops, we are co-engineering with ecosystem partners and investing in all new experiences to meet people’s real-world needs. While Intel and ASUS have a long history of working together, Intel teams across the world partnered with their counterparts in ASUS Taiwan for over two years – to bring exciting new Intel® Evo™ platform-based laptops to life.

Bold Idea Sparks Greater Opportunity for Laptop Innovation

Every laptop component that is verified as an Intel® Evo™ platform first undergoes rigorous testing in a system verification lab at one of three Open Labs in Taipei, Shanghai and Folsom, California. The labs are supported by experienced engineers who test, tune and provide recommendations to improve power and performance capabilities across a broad range of laptop components and categories, such as audio, display, embedded controllers, haptics, SSDs and wireless. Intel’s expanded level of integration with the PC ecosystem is meant to help accelerate the development of advanced laptop designs and capabilities by adding greater efficiency to the component selection process for OEMs, and by enabling a continuous cycle of tuning and testing based on real workloads and usage models.

In early 2020, ASUS proposed a game-changing idea to their Intel engineering counterparts: what if Intel could help ASUS build a similar test lab at ASUS headquarters? That strategy, ASUS suggested, could accelerate, and expand testing for its own range of Intel-powered laptops.

It turns out that great minds often think alike. ASUS’s proposal aligned perfectly with a long-term plan by Intel’s Client Customer Engineering (CCE) team in the Client Computing Group (CCG) to eventually enable our partner OEMs to test their own systems during product development.

Over the next two quarters, Intel teams helped ASUS set up a system verification lab that would provide valid test results comparable to our own test labs.

Intel engineers trained ASUS lab technicians and ensured that lab setup and procedures complied with our own. Intel teams also developed an automated testing tool that allows ASUS and other partner OEMs to test laptops in a way that measures real-world user experiences.

In this engineering lab deep in the heart of the ASUS HQ in Taiwan, ASUS engineers spend time testing and validating laptop components. Intel engineers from the Taiwan office regularly drop by to say hi, compare notes, share best known methods and help troubleshoot deep-rooted bugs as a joint engineering team. Photo taken prior to COVID-19.

The lab came online in early 2020. 10th Gen Intel Core laptops were among the first devices to be tested in this lab, followed closely by the ASUS’s latest 11th Gen Intel Core laptops, verified on the Intel® Evo™ platform, including ASUS ZenBook Flip S, ZenBook Flip 13/Flip S, ZenBook S, ZenBook 14 Ultralight, ZenBook Duo, VivoBook S 14 and ExpertBook B9.

ASUS ZenBook Flip S is the world’s thinnest OLED convertible laptop and first ASUS laptop verified on the Intel® Evo™ platform.

“Product specifications for Intel® Evo™ platform-based laptops was much higher than any other device we’ve ever tested,” says Fong Tsai, Field Application Engineering team lead, team ASUS. Unlike other OEMs that outsource laptop manufacturing to an original design manufacturer, ASUS designs and validates their laptops themselves.

“By enabling ASUS to run their own tests, we’re helping them become much more efficient in ramping their own laptop designs based on 11th Gen Intel Core processors and future CPU technologies. By the time ASUS submits their final models to Intel for testing, they stand a very high chance of success,” Tsai explains.

Adapting to the Evolving Needs of Customers

In an unprecedented year of change in the way people live, play and work, ASUS quickly recognized the need to adapt its laptop experiences to meet the needs of customers. A capability also tested in its new lab, ASUS worked closely with Intel to include GNA 2.0-enabled noise suppression across its entire range of 11th Gen Intel Core designs. Intel’s industry-first solution offloads AI-based noise suppression from the CPU to the more efficient GNA 2.0, which dramatically reduces the impact on battery life.

“ASUS will enable background noise suppression by default across its entire range of Tiger Lake SKUs, not just its top-end ones,” explains Tsai. And unlike other OEMs, they’ll also enable the feature across both consumer and future commercial 11th Gen Intel Core systems.

“To make Intel® Evo™ successful, we need to drive a true experience-first platform to wow consumers,” explains Tasha Chuang, director of the ASUS global account team. “This journey has pushed both Intel and ASUS to challenge our limits from product enabling to marketing, and we are all excited about the new possibility that Intel® Evo™ platforms bring, at a time when the PC is more essential than ever.”

ASUS and Intel are working together to continue to deliver innovative laptop experiences for customers.

For more information about the Intel® Evo™ Platform, visit www.Intel.com/ProjectAthena.

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