If you think the biggest event of next week is the Apple press conference, you’re clearly not a chip-head. For those of us deeply embedded and ensconced in the world of semiconductor hardware, Intel’s yearly developer forum (IDF) held in San Francisco’s Moscone center is still a yearly highlight and this year won’t disappoint.
We’ve been told that this year’s x(86)travaganza will revolve mainly around three topics; perceptual computing (or natural user interface), touch and convertible, and of course all the news around Intel’s low power 4th generation core processors, which are said to be doing better than expected.
All in all, not a bad line-up. Let’s take a look at each in slightly greater detail.
First off, perceptual computing, a rather obtuse name for a cool topic, imparting human senses or the ability to naturally perceive human intentions to computing devices, thereby making them intuitive and easier to use.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas back in January, Intel already set the scene for its future perceptual aspirations with talk of voice recognition integration, but touch is the next big thing coming to Ultrabooks with Windows 8.
Even touch, however, is just the beginning, with Intel making big bets on a not-too-distant future where embedded cameras and sensors (amongst other things) will recognize hand gestures, faces, and enable better voice processing, while allowing users to control their screens in more interactive, personalized ways. At IDF, Intel will apparently be showcasing several initiatives which will help enable hardware and software developers to drive perceptual computing aggressively into Intel platforms starting this year. If this is what peaks your interest, we’re told executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s mobility group, David (Dadi) Perlmutter, will be discussing it at greater length during his keynote on Tuesday September 11. Touch and convertible to the PC
Touch is coming to the ultrabook in a very big way, and Intel is betting that people will fall in love with it.
The firm says that overwhelmingly its research has shown that when people were given an ultrabook with touch, they automatically used the feature in 80 percent of their applications, even claiming to feel a better emotional connection to their device.
Microsoft Windows 8, of course, is specifically designed with touch in mind, and OEMs are refreshing their systems with touch capabilities in time for this coming holiday season.
Intel will be touting 40 touch-enabled ultrabook design wins in the pipeline, which insiders say consumers should expect to see before this year’s end.
@rick.merritt: I hope attendees at the IDF will get a convincing answer to your question on hand-held computing. I hope other technologies that Intel has worked on (including those thru acquisition) will get some light of the day at IDF... like high speed serial links and HPC cluster computing which has been an on-again and off-again thing with Intel!
Sylvie makes a great point that a biiiig part of this IDF will be a coming out party for Haswell--Intel's first client processors made in its 22nm tri-gate process.
Will Haswell chips give Nvidia's Tegras and Qualcomm's Snapdragons a run for their money in the emerging tablet space? Stay tuned.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.