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
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