High Tech Computer (HTC) plans to use Intel chips in its forthcoming Shift ultramobile PC (UMPC).

The news puts to rest speculation that the gadget would use a Via chip, and could be a sign of renewed vigour for Intel in ultramobiles. Via had been gaining traction in the area, with design wins in several devices, including one from top-tier vendor Samsung Electronics in its Q1b.

The Intel win is also meaningful because some top Via executives are also top executives at HTC, suggesting HTC might have been more open to using chips from Via. Cher Wang is chairwoman of both Via and HTC, for example, and Via president Chen Wen-chi is a board member at HTC.

The Shift runs on Windows Vista and has a slide and flip 7in touchscreen that reveals a QWERTY-keyboard for easy typing. It is also a 3G (third generation telecommunications) mobile phone, and it can access the internet wirelessly using HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) as well as Wi-Fi.

The Shift, which is due before the end of the year, will also come with a host of other features, including a 30GB hard drive for holding songs, movies and other data. There are no details of a UK release as yet.

The Shift will also use the Intel Ultra Mobile platform 2007, HTC said. That includes an Intel A110 microprocessor, 945GU Express chipset and ICH7U I/O controller hub. The platform is aimed at extending battery life in small devices.