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IDF: The latest from Intel's forum

IDF: The latest from Intel's forum

ARN gives you the lowdown on news and gossip from this week's Intel event

The air is electric at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco with demonstrations, announcements and conversations in IT.

The event kicked off on a high note with claims the PC industry is set to come out of the GFC.

In his keynote, Intel CEO, Paul Otellini, said the industry was on the road to recovery thanks to computer shipments picking up. Chip shipments 34re stabilising as PC shipments start to rise, Otellini claimed.

In coming quarters, the PC industry was likely to see flat or positive growth in shipments compared to 2008.

More netbook applications coming

On the product front, Intel announced it would start bringing application stores to netbooks. The Atom Developer Program aimed to help developers optimise and port existing programs for use on mobile devices based on the Atom processor, the vendor said. It will also provide tools and software development kits to write applications that could be sold through app stores.

Speculation that the new Linux netbook based on Moblin will be revealed this week also perpetuated the buzz at the Intel Forum.

Leaders at the first Linuxcon Conference in Portland, Oregon, expected Linux to reassert its presence in the netbook market via the Intel Developer Forum.

"You're going to see interesting new netbooks coming out that are killer. They have the cool factor and they're priced right," executive director of the Linux Foundation, Jim Zemlin, said.

Moore's Law continues unabated

Intel CTO, Justin Rattner, meanwhile, was adamant Moore's Law would remain strong for decades to come.

Predictions of the decline of Moore's Law are the norm in the IT world, and some organisations are already exploring replacements for silicon chip technology.

But Rattner, who heads up Intel Labs, said chip architecture would "undergo dramatic changes" in the coming decades but that silicon itself would remain the core element for the foreseeable future.

He also claimed machines may eventually be as smart as humans.

Rattner said machine intelligence is constantly increasing due to laws of accelerating returns. It was not inconceivable that machines may match human intelligence.

While many commentators are preoccupied with the far off singularity, Rattner said he was more concerned about how laws of accelerating returns "are real" and how it could lead to advances in technology.

Graphics ahoy

Another glimpse of IT’s future for IDF attendees were demonstrations of the first system based on Intel’s first discrete graphics processor, Larabee.

Intel stated Larrabee-based products were expected at the end of 2009 or early 2010, including the six-core Intel server processor, code-named Gulftown.

Connecting PCs to devices using light

Intel also revealed it is working on a new optical interconnect that could possibly link mobile devices to displays and storage up to 100m away. The company is researching the Light Peak optical interconnect technology, which could communicate data between systems and devices associated with PCs at speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second, vice-president and general manager of Intel's mobility group, David Perlmutter, said. The technology uses light to speed up data transmission between mobile devices and connected devices like storage, networking and audio devices, the company said.

For example, Light Peak could help improve the quality of high-definition video on displays. Company officials demonstrated a thin cable that connected a monitor to a gaming PC many metres away. Data was transmitted from the PC using Light Peak technology to the monitor, which retained its video quality despite the long distance.

Bad behaviour

In other news, Intel criticised the European Commission and accused the regulator of being selective with evidence it considered in relation to its anticompetitive behaviour case.

Intel’s statement came out on the same day the EC released a document that detailed email exchanges between Intel and computer manufacturers and described them as "smoking gun" evidence.

The company also claimed that the EC failed to understand the competitive context of the x86 processor and PC markets, as well as the way in which Intel competes with Advanced Micro Devices.

Keep your eyes on www.arnnet.com.au for more news from IDF.


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Tags Intel Developer ForumLinuxmoblinAtom Developer ProgramGulftownMoore's LawLarabee

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