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Intel’s Really Big Tech Fest

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Intel kicks off its 11th annual Intel Developer Forum conference today, drawing
thousands of developers from around the world to the Moscone Center in San Francisco for
three days of intense tech talk.

A lot of Nehalem, a lot of Atom, and a lot of flash drive talk. Itanium? Not so much.

Intel is not known for making big news at its show; it likes to get that news out in
advance so that the show can concentrate on deep technological dives. The ultramobile
chip Atom, the Core i7 (a.k.a. Nehalem), and Larrabee, its entry in the GPU market, have
all been spelled out in detail in recent weeks and months.

“Between Nehalem and Nehalem desktop derivatives coming out next year, and some of the
Nehalem server derivatives, and
and Atom, their plate is pretty full,” said Nathan Brookwood, research
fellow with Insight64. “The surprises may be if they are willing to talk more about

Of course, it will be a good day for other vendors to make news. IBM, for example,
will make some news surrounding its X-Architecture servers at the show and it will be a
part of the Tuesday keynote. Everyone from the PCI SIG to BMW (yes, the auto
manufacturer) will be demonstrating new technologies at the show, all built on Intel.

Intel tends to be an early bird, known for holding events early in the morning, and
this show is no exception. The opening keynote, featuring chairman and former CEO Craig
Barrett, begins at 8:15 am. CEO Paul Otellini isn’t expected at the show since he and
Barrett trade off taking the lead spot each year.

The heavy hitters on day one come in the afternoon, when Pat Gelsinger,
senior vice president and general manager of the Digital Enterprise group, and David
“Dadi” Perlmutter, executive vice president and general manager of the Mobility group,
host their back to back keynotes.

Day two’s triple threat of keynotes involves Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice
president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility group, Eric Kim, senior vice
president and general manager of the Digital Home group, and Renee James, vice president
and general manager of the Software and Solutions group.

Day three closes out with CTO Justin Rattner’s talk on research and development, and a
“fireside chat” style interview hosted by Moira Gunn, host of “Tech Nation” and “”BioTech
Nation” on National Public Radio (NPR) with
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak

Notable sessions

Tuesday will feature 50-minute long sessions on Nehalem and Atom. The Nehalem chalk
talk will discuss the processor’s microarchitecture, power management capabilities, cache
optimization and new instruction set. There will even be a session on adding
multithreading to games for Nehalem.

Atom will be discussed on Tuesday, and in addition to the current platform, Intel may
also discuss Lincroft, the next generation of Atom that may be made in a 32nm process.
Intel could conceivably get Atom to 32nm before its main processors because Atom is so

On Wednesday, Intel will be discussing overall platform design issues with Nehalem,
such as the on-board memory controller and new Quickpath interconnect. AMD developers are
used to this, but for Intel, it’s a brand new world without north bridge/south bridge

There will also be a session on next-generation I/O, particularly 10 gigabit Ethernet
(10GbE) for Nehalem as well as a number of panels on using solid state drives (SSDs). SSD
will be about the only storage-related sessions held at the event.

Also on display will be the recent announced 0.9 revision of USB 3.0. The USB
Implementer’s Forum will be showing off a number USB products, hopefully including some
3.0 products. The Forum will also be showing off Wireless USB, which was approved two
years ago.

In-Stat analyst Jim McGregor said what’s not on the menu is what interests him. He
noted a few technologies that get no or next to no mention in technical sessions. “I
haven’t seen much on UWB (Ultra-Wideband). It sounds like UWB is definitely on the back
burner for them, because a lot of promoting Wi-Fi peripherals at this point,” he noted.
“IA-64, the Itanium architecture, isn’t going to be killed off, but they aren’t talking
about it much, either.”

Article courtesy of

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