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IDF2009

Hallo hoppy reader,

It’s Tuesday and that means I’ve taken a bat turn to the left and landed at Moscone for another Intel Developer Forum. This first installment concern’s the show’s opening keynote, from Paul Otellini and associates. Paul’ theme: A Continuum of Computing

BLOGS.INTEL.COM/IDF
Paul Otellini:
A continum of computing
IDF is changing. It used to be almost entirely OEMs. Now, it’s roughly 20 divided OEMs, another 20 is from CE, another from telecom, another from software
Moore’s Law: 2009 – 32nm is here now, it makes it econimoclly feasible to manufacture Westmere, then Sandybridge, “next gen microarchitecture on cadence for next year.”
next gen; 22nm showed a functional SRAM based on that process. 22nm will be followed by 15nm
SoC (System on Chip for embedded systems) will become a larger part of Intel’s product mix.
personal computers: Otellini predicts flat to slightly up into next year.
Branding: Core i3, i5 and i7, based on Westmere. Intel has worked closely with MS to make sure that vPro will seamlessly run legacy software in Win 7
Arrandale dual core for mobile bemo: improved scheduling means better handling of background processes, better security w/Anti-theft 2.0 means remoye kill & reanimation, no need to visit the IT dept. to bring the machine back from the dead.
CE demo: showed a MID, an Arrandale laptop and a full size Sandybridge desktop tower, all running flavors of Win7. He created some content, then pushed it up to a STB. Even the MID can hadled FMV, games and other “performance” applications…Common use models, scaled to each device.
On to mobility, Atom & Netbooks: Otellini discussed how choice of Intel-optimized OS is important: Win, Moblin Linux & VXworks (Wind River). Adobe, MS & Java are all on board for Atom support.
Asus and Acer are following Apple’s app store in creating netbook app stores in conjunction with Intel.
In–vehicle infotainment systems are growing at 17%, even in this economy. Harman’s Becker division will be placing Atom–based systems in BMW and Daimler cars. 
Atom: Menlow, then Moorestown, then, at 32nm, Sfcihoidhvc…Intel’s in the OS business now in a major way (Moblin 2.1 demos).
Next, servers: Nehalem EP & EX focusing on optimzation for virtualization and cloud services.
“Convergence is so yesterday,” said Otellini. Convergence has happened, convergence is a given. “Gluing it all together…” is Intel’s current focus, making what we call computing an invisble, ubiquitous continium.
• IDF Is Changing
He started out by stressing how IDF is changing. It used to be almost entirely OEMs, Original Equipment Manufacturers, the folks that make most of the electronic gear in the world. Otellini’s take on OEM specifically meant the companies that make beige box computers that other companies put their name on. Nowadays, IDF is roughly divided between OEMs, CE or consumer electronic manufacturers, telecoms, software vendors, and other computer–centric geek types.
• Moore’s Law
He went on to discuss Moore’s Law…In 2009, 32nm is here now, making it economically feasible to manufacture the next gen of Intel microarchitecture, Westmere, then their Sandy Bridge, the “next generation microarchitecture on cadence for next year.” “On cadence” refers to Intel’s two year “Tick–Tock” fabrication/product lifecycle roadmap. According to Intel, “Sandy Bridge will feature a sixth generation graphics core on the same die as the processor core and includes AVX instructions for floating point, media and processor intensive software.” AVX or Advanced Vector Extensions is an Intel 256 bit instruction set extension to their legacy SSE instruction set for array processing. AVX is designed for applications that make intensive use of floating point computations.
The follow on fabrication technology to 32nm is 22nm. He showed a functional SRAM wafer based on the 22nm  process, with “…more than 2.9 billion transistors packed into an area the size of a fingernail.” That process will be followed by 15nm which, I’d say, is wicked small. Seriously though, traditional fabrication techniques are reaching their limit so, barring radical breakthroughs in materials and process engineering, companies like Intel will increasingly rely on their “Tera–scale” initiative, where 80 compute cores all cooperatively interoperate on a single die…More on Larrabee and Tera–scale tomorrow.
Otellini mentioned that SoC or System on Chip products will become a larger portion of Intel’s product mix. SoCs are typically destined for embedded systems, where all the bits of your personal computer, without the keyboard, display and mouse, have been shrunk and jammed into the space of a postage stamp. SoCs run products that have one or more computers hiding in them, your car being a good example. Modern luxury vehicles have dozens of “computers,” really SoCs, hiding in them. Same goes for modern fridges, toasters, dishwashers and TVs. He went on to discuss the market for Intel’s goods…Sales of personal computers, Otellini predicted, will be flat to slightly up into next year, despite the economy. He said that this proves computer–based products have become indispensable.
• Brands & Target Markets
On to branding…The current range is the Atom, Core and Xeon. Atom for mobile computing, Core i3, i5 and i7, based on Westmere, are the basis for PCs, while Xeons are for workstations and servers.
Intel has worked closely with MS to make sure that vPro will seamlessly run legacy software in Win 7. vPro is, according to Wikipedia, “…a combination of processor technologies, hardware enhancements, management features, and security technologies that allow remote access to (a) PC.”
About that security thang: Next was an Arrandale dual core for mobile demo. The presenter showed improved scheduling, which translates into better handling of background processes. Also, better security w/Anti-theft 2.0 means remote kill & reanimation, no need to visit the IT dept. (IT dept? What’s that?) to bring the machine back from the dead. Woot!
On to a CE demo…They showed a MID or mobile internet device, an Arrandale laptop and a full size Sandy Bridge desktop tower, all running flavors of Win7. He created some content on the fly, then pushed it up to a STB or set top box. Even the MID can handled full motion video, games and other “performance” applications. Common use models, scaled to each device…By the way, MIDs are smaller than netbooks, strangely like an iPod Touch. I reported last year that MIDs, they didn’t have their own category then and were bundled in with netbooks, were costing about US$800 and were almost entirely sourced from Korean vendors. We can only hope that the current generation has come down in price while becoming more user friendly, which brings us to…
Mobility with Atom, MIDs & Netbooks: Otellini discussed how choice of operating system (OS) is important for mobile vendors. Windows, Moblin Linux & VxWorks, via Intel’s Wind River acquisition, are all optimized for Atom, Intel’s low power processor. Adobe, MS & Java are all on board to support Atom for rich internet/rich media applications.
Surprise! You can make money from tightly tying software to hardware! Asus, pronounced “ay soos” BTW,  and ACER are following Apple’s app store in creating netbook app stores in conjunction with Intel.
We’re taking mobility so it wouldn’t be complete without mentioning in–vehicle infotainment systems. They’re growing at 17%, even in this economy. Harman Intl’s Becker division will be placing Atom–based systems in BMW and Daimler cars that  “…will enable full internet access, 3-D navigation, brilliant graphics and high–speed wireless connectivity,” according to an Intel press release. As to the Atom roadmap. Currently Menlow, then Moorestown, then, at 32nm, Medfield (thanks hexus.net!)…
• OS Choices
If you haven’t noticed, Intel’s in the OS business now in a major way so, they did some Moblin 2.1 demos. In comparison to last year’s MID demos, which were pitiful, the MID running Moblin looked usable. I hope to actually drive one around in the next few days…
Next, servers: Nehalem-EP & EX microarchitectures are focusing on optimzation for virtualization and cloud services…duh.
• In Closing
To close, “Convergence is so yesterday,” said Otellini. Convergence has happened, convergence is a given. Intel and their partners’ task is “…gluing it all together…” That’s their current focus, making what we call computing an invisible, ubiquitous continuum.
All for now, gotta run though I should have more for you in a bit. Sorry for not posting of late, been crazy busy so, thanks for visiting and, until next, geek on!
 

 

 

 

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3 Responses to “IDF2009”

  1. Not sure why the various PC OEMs would all want a generic app store? The functionality makes some sense, but this seems like a “me too” scenario and doesn’t help each company differentiate its products from both Apple and their WinTel competition.
    http://www.dellobserver.com

  2. Agreed but, with careful branding of each vendor’s offering, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a useful new channel.

  3. Hey folks,

    This just in…In a press release dated 09-23, Ubuntu Linux developer Canonical and Dell “…Deliver Ubuntu Moblin Remix Developer Edition”

    See:

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/09/prweb2918514.htm

    for more…