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Old 09-21-2009, 03:34 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Off to IDF 2009

From our front-page news:
Welp, I'm out the door once again to head to the west coast, we're I'll be attending the latest iteration of Intel's Developer Forum. As always, you can expect regular updates throughout the show, not just of Intel's own developments, but their partners as well (and there are plenty).

If you recall our Taiwan trip from a few months ago, I kept a regular "diary" of sorts in our forums which let you experience Computex along with us... not just with information from the show, but other fun stuff outside the show as well. In all honesty, IDF and San Francisco isn't near as interesting as Taiwan (at least, in my opinion), but I plan to continue the tradition and give an inside peek of what goes on when we attend IDF (minus the shower scenes).

So what's to look forward to this year? Well, there won't be as much desktop talk this year, primarily due to the fact that Lynnfield was released just weeks ago. I don't expect there to be a total lack from that front though... Gulftown isn't too far off, after all. This year, there is going to be a lot of focus on mobile, small desktop and other related devices, including technical information on Intel's 32nm SoC and the Jasper Forrest embedded chip, a follow-up on Moore's Law and it's direction, Clarksfield (notebook Nehalem) and a lot more technology hovering around TV and entertainment. Oh, and there will be no Larrabee developments, at least we're told.


Aside from all the really technical information, Intel's bringing in alternative rock band Maroon 5 to play to a large crowd of geeks. I'm really interested to see some of the company's engineers rock out. Another tradition is going to dinner with Intel's coolest press rep, Dan Snyder, and a small group of US (and lone Canadian (me)) journalists. These dinners are always a lot of fun, especially given that Dan really knows how to pick the best wine (last year, we even enjoyed a bottle that was under embargo until just then. No joke).

As always, stay tuned, and post your thoughts/comments/questions in the related thread!

Source: Techgage IDF Coverage
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:40 AM   #2
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That's so awesome Rob! I'm very jealous (Maroon 5 are great)!

I went through the old diaries and they were very well done. Alternatively if you don't have time (or a soul) you could twitter your updates.
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:54 AM   #3
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Damn, now I wish I'd went because that band isn't half-bad.

More seriously though, wish I could be there for this one as I'm sure in the very least you'll be seeing Gulftown boxes here and there... the the recent management shakeup is going to make things all the more interesting to watch. Perhaps you'll even hear something about the future Sandy Bridge socket?

Anyway, have a safe flight Rob!
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:26 AM   #4
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At Toronto airport as I write this... and whew, is it freaking hot in here :-S

I couldn't care less about Maroon 5, to be honest, but I'll go and grab pics regardless. The best part of these events is just mingling with our colleagues from other publications, and of course, Intel's engineers and other employees.

As for Gulftown, I'd expect there to be a fair bit of information and test machines to be had, although I could be wrong. Intel hasn't talked much recently about their performence parts. As for Sandy Bridge, I totally misread that thread... I thought it meant that the socket had 2011 contacts, haha.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbersome View Post
I went through the old diaries and they were very well done. Alternatively if you don't have time (or a soul) you could twitter your updates.
I don't do much Twitter, and I don't think my phone is even set up for it. I'll have to look into it...
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:01 PM   #6
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Well as it turns out, I did have my phone set up for Twitter. I am not sure how often I can or will update it, but here's our page:

http://twitter.com/techgage
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
Well as it turns out, I did have my phone set up for Twitter. I am not sure how often I can or will update it, but here's our page:

http://twitter.com/techgage
You've got 19 followers already! And so it begins...
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbersome View Post
You've got 19 followers already! And so it begins...
Yeah... the Twitter account has been around for a few months, but interestingly enough, those followers came on their own... I never told anyone about the feed (even our own staff until recently).
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:31 AM   #9
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I snapped a bunch of photos earlier while I was out and about. First, the Moscone center, where Intel's name is EVERYWHERE:











Here are some photos of the vendor area. As you can see, it was very, very under construction when I was in there.







Of course, San Francisco is a busy city, so there's always a lot of stuff going on. The city's also rather unique given there are many trollies roaming the streets.



And not surprisingly, street performers:



Of course, San Francisco isn't San Francisco without some ludacris hills:



And given the money floating around silicon valley, it's not so rare to see some nice cars. This picture came out blurry because I noticed the car so late, but the silver convertible storming through on the left side is a Bentley Continental GTC.



More tomorrow from the show!
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:26 AM   #10
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Great pics Rob! I've been to Union Square before and saw the Moscone center.

The 32 nanometer process will be one of the highlights of the show it seems.

Here's a video on Westmere from Sanjay Natarajan.
http://blogs.intel.com/idf/2009/09/f...cessors_--.php

I wonder how much that Westmere wafer is worth?

So correct me if I'm wrong, the entire purpose of making a smaller die is to save space, use energy, more transistors = better performance?

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Old 09-22-2009, 02:34 AM   #11
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Also, do you think Intel developing a next-gen integrated graphics chip to go along with Westmere?

Also saw the video on Intel's Ultra Mobility Group Garage. They have A LOT of mobile products on the booth. The new Archos 9 looks really awesome. As thin and sleek as a Kindle!

Last edited by gibbersome; 09-22-2009 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:12 AM   #12
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ah cool!!
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbersome View Post
The 32 nanometer process will be one of the highlights of the show it seems.
Yes, most definitely. It's what's en route... 32nm desktop chips are here soon, and so are 32nm mobile and SoCs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbersome View Post
I wonder how much that Westmere wafer is worth?
My ballpark figure would be ~$75,000.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbersome View Post
So correct me if I'm wrong, the entire purpose of making a smaller die is to save space, use energy, more transistors = better performance?
Improved performance due to increased transistors is one thing, with lower heat and power consumption as the other main benefits. Space-saving is another, although I'd have to say that this is more important on the mobile / SoC chip side, where lower heat and smaller design is imperative. It's still nice on the desktop though... no one will complain about lower power consumption and lower temps, unless they use their PC to heat their house in the winter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbersome View Post
Also, do you think Intel developing a next-gen integrated graphics chip to go along with Westmere?
Possibly an evolutionary one, but not revolutionary. I have a feeling we won't see drastically-improved integrated GPUs until Larabee arrives... then Intel can carry that technology over to the integrated graphics (if it's successful, which I'm told it will be).
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:24 PM   #14
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First update:
At IDF, Paul Otellini gave the opening keynote, and by the end, it became clear that Atom is a huge part of the company's future. Otellini stated that Atom isn't only going to be used for netbooks and nettops, but in the future, Atom will act as a base to virtually all devices that don't require high raw performance... from netbooks to MIDs to phones and so forth.

To prove just how serious the company is about the future of Atom, they have launched a developer network for use as a resource for developing applications for use across the wide-variety of platforms that will feature Atom. In addition, you can expect to see "app stores" available for Atom-equipped device, similar to app stores for devices like the iPhone.

The best part? Because these applications will be based on Intel's Atom development toolkits, they will run across both Windows and Moblin-based devices. This means huge potential for developers, since they can focus development on IA, and have it run on multiple platforms. Moblin is another focus of Intel's, and I'm happy to hear it. It's open-sourced, and can be used anywhere, from cell phones to MIDs to small desktops.

What should you take away from this? Expect Atom to become an integral part of future computing, especially where mobile is concerned. Otellini even went on to state that he sees Atom outselling the company's desktop processors in the near-future. That's a pretty bold statement, but given that many people own just one or two computers, yet many mobile devices, it's easy to believe.


The overall theme of the keynote was this... the continuum. Intel wants to see technology grow and constantly improve, and to help accomplish this, their product developments and the developers are going to make some great things happen. During the keynote, Otellini showed a slide of ideas that the regular consumer had for future technology, and though some were wacky, some ideas were great (such as a retina-based security system). The future is indeed bright.

On the performance desktop side, 32nm Westmere is currently in production and will become available during Q4 of this year, with Core i3 processors due in early 2010. A 22nm wafer, as seen above, was also showed off (of SRAM), and Intel stated that it's on track to launch in 2011, complying with the company's Tick/Tock cadence.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:02 PM   #15
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22nm is gonna be awesome!!
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