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Intel Gives a Glimpse of the Future of Computers

SAN FRANCISCO ( TheStreet) -- Intel (INTC - Get Report), the world's largest chipmaker, laid out its vision for the next generation of computing devices at its annual Developer Forum event, touting new touch- and voice-based technologies, and giving a preview of a next-generation processor code-named Haswell.

David Perlmutter, Intel's chief product officer, said the chip will offer double the performance of its predecessor, Ivy Bridge. The 22-nanometer processor, which is coming to market next year, will play a key role in tablets and so-called ultrabooks, a new breed of skinny laptops that Intel is championing.

"Next year, you're going to find the best-performing graphics-processing capability in a very thin form factor," he said. "Mobile computing is about much more than just mobile, it's about computing."

Perlmutter also said Intel will add even lower power processors based on the same architecture to its roadmap starting in 2013.

Earlier in his keynote, the Intel product chief also demonstrated voice-interaction technology running on an ultrabook, delivered in conjunction with Nuance Communications (NUAN - Get Report), the company behind the Apple (AAPL - Get Report) iPhone's Siri.

"We're going to have beta available in the fourth quarter of this year," he said. "Production [is] to come in the first quarter of next year."

The executive also ran a demonstration of a 3D camera technology. "[It] recognizes the hand gestures, but also the hand and finger movements," he said. "This is just the very beginning of bringing in new capabilities -- for everyone who thinks this is the end of innovation -- it's the beginning."

At this stage, the 3D-camera technology is a peripheral attached to a USB drive. Intel plans to integrate it into a device over the next 12 to 24 months.

Intel, however, finds itself wrestling with the effects of a fickle economy, recently lowering its third-quarter outlook. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based firm also faces increasingly intense competition from design rival ARM (ARMH).

Shares of Intel rose 0.3% to $23.34 on Wednesday.

--Written by James Rogers in San Francisco.

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