This morning Intel kicked off the corporations 15th Intel Developer Forum (IDF) with an opening keynote that was given by David Perlmutter. Each year IDF has a theme and this year that theme is “The Future of Innovation is Wide Open.” Intel hopes that theme will create some buzz and demonstrate how developers can take advantage of the latest innovations in hardware, software and services to help enable the best user experiences on Intel architecture — from the cloud to devices. Intel isn’t the only company that is doing major announcements this week as tomorrow Apple is holding an event just down the street, where the iPhone is expected to be announced. You also have companies like AMD and ARM holding meetings just down the street during the show, so all the big name tech players are active in San Francisco this week. Since all eyes are on the tech market this week, it means that Intel must show that the PC is alive and well and that the chip giant is going to be able to branch out to smartphones, tablets and anything else that’s coming down the road.
For the past several years Intel has been focusing thinner and lighter laptops, known as Ultrabooks, but Microsoft’s “reimagining” of Windows and the move to touch interfaces have added some complications to those plans. Microsoft Windows 8, which officially arrives on October 26, is designed to work on both PCs and tablets. With the introduction of Windows 8 you’ll start to see a ton of new touch and voice features (Dragon Assistant Beta). Sure, there will be still be the traditional laptop with and without touchscreens, but you’ll start to see more slates and tablets that try bridge the gap between the PC and laptop. Companies like ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo have recently started announcing these so called ‘Windows 8 convertibles’. This is great news for consumers as it expands the definition of computing by introducing natural interactions to computing experience. If it makes the experience better for consumers, then it should be a win for everyone.
Intel officially announced the 4th Generation Intel Core Processor using a new microarchitecture that has been codenamed ‘Haswell’. Intel said that Haswell will deliver 2x the graphics performance compared to Ivy Bridge. Intel said this is not an easy feat as the power envelop remains the same. This was expected as last week Intel released some information about the Haswell, including that they will have a mobile version of the product family that will feature a 10W thermal design power (TDP) and an integrated I/O hub. This is a critical feature for x86 tablets and the next generation of ultra-thin PCs (ultrabooks). Ivy Bridge has a 17W TDP, so this is a significant drop that should help consumers get all day battery life.
Intel showed a slide that said Haswell will have uncompromised performance, all day use and greater than 10 days of connected standby. This all adds up to a mainstream notebook that has a connected standby power that is 20x better than we what we had in 2011 with the ‘Sandy Bridge’ architecture. The slide also said that Intel is targeting 2013 to launch Haswell, which supports the rumored Q2 2013 launch time frame.
Intel showed a Heaven demo to show the performance and power difference between Ivy Bridge and Haswell that was pretty interesting. From what we could tell the Haswell graphics performance appeared to be much faster than the Ivy Bridge processor with Intel HD 4000 Graphics. Intel also mentioned briefly that the next-generation Atom processor, codenamed Clover Trail, will be ideally suited to occupy the sub-5W space. Lots of low powered goodness is coming in 2013!
Near the end of the keynote, Intel showed off a futuristic Coca-Cola vending machine that was powered by an Intel Core i7 microprocessor. Intel executive vice president Dadi Perlmutter showed off the machine with its massive 46-inch full 1080p video screen. This machine was functional and WiFi, a QR Code reader, camera, microphone, money slot and dispenser. You can even use the machine to take a picture to e-mail or share among friends on social networks! Pretty cool stuff and just a glimpse of what markets Intel is headed into in the future. One thing that should be noted is that no desktop computers were on stage during the opening keynote this year. This was a clear sign that things have certainly changed over the years!
Stay tuned for more IDF 2012 coverage here on Legit Reviews!