At its developer conference today (INTEL DEVELOPER FORUM, Beijing), Intel talked about the upcoming Sandy Bridge chips, the Moorestown platform as well as the new convertible classmate PC and the MeeGo software platform.
The Intel Developer Forum kicked off with a keynote by David (Dadi) Perlmutter, executive vice president and co-general manager, Intel Architecture Group (IAG), who shared Intel's vision to make it possible for technology users to realize the potential for a common connected computing experience.
On the high end of the computing spectrum, Perlmutter noted that Intel culminated the transition to the company's Intel microarchitecture chip design, codenamed "Nehalem," with the recent launch of the Intel Xeon processor 7500 series. In less than 90 days, Intel has introduced all-new 2010 PC, laptop and server processors that increase energy efficiency and computing speed, and include a multitude of new features that make computers more intelligent, flexible and reliable.
Perlmutter also discussed updates on next generation Intel Core processors using the Intel microarchitecture codenamed "Sandy Bridge," which are targeted to be in production in late 2010. "Sandy Bridge" is built on Intel's second generation Hi-K 32 nanometer (nm) process technology. These processors will be the first to support Intel Advanced Vector Extension (Intel AVX) instructions. Intel AVX accelerates the trends toward floating point intensive computation in general purpose applications like image, video, and audio processing, as well as engineering applications, including 3D modeling and analysis, scientific simulation, and financial analytics. "Sandy Bridge" will also continue support for the Intel AES New Instructions (Intel AES-NI), seven software instructions that accelerate data encryption and decryption. "Sandy Bridge" will also feature Intel's sixth-generation graphics core and will include acceleration for floating point, video, and processor intensive software most often found in media applications.
Intel is also expected to start producing a new line of microprocessors, code-named Ivy Bridge, near the end of 2011 using 22nm technology.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Intel's biggest rival in the microprocessor business, will start shipping its new Fusion chips for desktop and laptop PCs around the same time Sandy Bridge chips enter the market. AMD's new chips will also feature built-in graphics chips and they will be manufactured using 32nm technology.
Intel's Perlmutter also touched on how Intel is enabling a new kind of experience on television he called "Smart TV", where the Internet will be integrated with broadcast TV, personalized content, and search capability. At the center of this new technology is Intel's consumer electronics (CE) system-on chip (SoC), the Intel Atom processor CE4100, which offers raw CPU performance, HD video and audio decode, and advanced graphics. The goal is to bring personal content, favorite websites and social networks to the TV in a new way. The CE4100 is designed for CE devices such as Blu-ray Disc players, set-top boxes and digital TVs.
As the mobile Internet continues to spiral and touch more devices, Perlmutter cited the industry opportunity for a new generation of handhelds including tablets and smartphones. He detailed how Moore's Law, along with a combination of architecture, design and manufacturing process techniques, will help to move Intel architecture to dramatically lower power envelopes.
Perlmutter discussed Intel's forthcoming "Moorestown" platform, which is on track for introduction during the first half of this year. He stated that Intel has repartitioned its platform architecture and implemented a number of innovative techniques, such as next generation OS power management and distributed power gating, to achieve the improved performance and major reductions in idle and active power envelopes. To reinforce his point, he demonstrated up to 50 times platform idle power reduction, and up to 10 times power reduction in audio playback compared to Intel's first-generation "Menlow" platform.
Also, Perlmutter disclosed that Intel is working with PC manufacturers Tongfang and Hanvon to introduce the new convertible classmate PC design that combines aesthetics with ruggedness, full PC functionality with enhanced e-reading capabilities and improved performance with energy efficiency. The tablet touch screen form factor also adds additional functionality for students.
In the day's second keynote, Renee James, senior vice president and general manager of the Software and Services Group at Intel, continued to highlight Intel's vision for a seamless cross-device experience for phones, cars and the home. James emphasized how a unified operating environment running across a common compute architecture can give developers broader reach and easier access to end users, in any market segment.
Building on the recent Intel and Nokia news to merge the Moblin and Maemo open source projects
into the MeeGo Linux-based software platform, James highlighted the broad endorsement of MeeGo across the industry. MeeGo is hosted by the Linux Foundation as a fully open source project and is available to original equipment manufacturers, operating system vendors, network operators and others, targeting a wide range of devices, including next-generation smartphones, netbooks, tablets, mediaphones, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems. MeeGo supports both Atom (x86) and and ARM processors. In the second half of this year, we should expect to see the first Atom-based netbooks, tablet and cellular phone running the MeeGo OS.