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Saturday, September 07, 2013
Intel Developer's Forum 2013 To Emphasize On Haswell Ultrabooks, New Atoms Chips


The annual Intel?s Developer's Forum (IDF) is taking place next week in San Francisco, and analysts at Gartner make some predictions on what will be on the show.

Ken Dulaney, vice president at Gartner, expects that there will be a lot of emphasis on the ultrabook class of devices based on the Haswell processor. These products are expected to demonstrate a significant uptick in performance and battery life that make all day computing a reality. Furthermore there will be special attention to what Intel will be calling the "two in one" category, a combination laptop and tablet based on Windows 8.

Intel will also showcase big improvements in the Atom lineup, via the Bay Trail platform, that are setting the stage for its important growth prospects into smartphones. Intel has been marketing its architecture as the best processor no matter what the operating system. Communications improvements both in wireless and wire will be showcased. Data center technologies will also be on display and will include technologies for cloud efficient data centers. The heightened interest is being fueled by the growth in mobile devices and eventually the elements of the Internet of Things. Intel will also demonstrate new Rack Scale optical technology that will improve data center performance, Dulaney says.

The Haswell processor, based on 22nm technology, is the first in a lineup of processors through 2014 that will take us through 14nm process on both the Core iSeries and Atom processors. During this timeframe Intel will be able to demonstrate a new era of performance per watt not envisioned even five years ago. So the focus cannot be just on Haswell but the family of processors that will come from Intel over the coming years and the products these processors will enable. Intel will participate in both the very active Windows and Android communities and we will see a number of product categories appear across both platforms.

With PC sales continuing to decline Intel needa to respond and break into the mobile business. Dulaney believes that Intel must continue to stress the improvements they have made in the traditional PC/notebook category, but also pursue the high volume categories of tablets and smartphones. Growth there is based largely on bringing the performance and compatibility of the x86 platform to the low power needs of the new categories. The key technology that will enable Intel to pursue these markets is the generation lead they have in process technology.

The challenge for Intel in tablets and smartphones lies primarily in the fact that the two main suppliers, Apple and Samsung, do not rely on Intel for the bulk of their shipments (Samsung uses some Intel chips). Dulaney believes that Intel will have to increase its share by selling to the upcoming suppliers such as various Chinese vendors that have both home grown and international market potential.

Intel also wants to provide technologies that increase the overall performance in the data center yet keep costs low. Intel?s objective is to provide utilization, economics and flexibility to Microsoft?s datacenters. Dulaney says that the Rack Scale optical technology should enable much higher performance backplanes within the racks used by most data centers. It is introducing Atom based solutions for the data denter that can help improved costs and lower power consumption. And Intel is introducing improved switching for microservers which again deal with the scale and performance issues required by the cloud service providers. And as always it continues to improve its Xeon class processors that are popular within these environments.


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