IDF2011 Opening Keynote Shares Connected Computing Vision

Intel’s CEO focused on the evolution and future of computing that will deliver three essential capabilities – engagement, consistency and security.

By John Blyler, Editorial Director

The opening keynote at this year’s Intel Developers Forum (IDF) set the stage for three days of high-tech demonstrations and technically focused presentations by Intel and its partners. The keynote by Intel’s CEO, Paul Otellini, highlighted the company’s view of computing over the last 30 years and into the future. “The innovation of the next decade will outstrip the innovation of the last three decades,” Otellini said. What follows is a summary of Otellini’s key points. The full transcript of his keynote is available from the official IDF 2011 website.

Otellini began by talking about the ongoing transformations in transistor technology, focusing mainly on the growing consumer market for embedded products. All of these transformations have been based on the ever-increasing availability of transistors (see Figure 1). Recent improvements included 3D transistors at the 22-nm node.

In addition, all of these transistors will continue to power very efficient computing platforms. In the future, computing must enable three essential capabilities: engagement, consistency, and security.

As the world becomes more connected, users will expect more lifelike, engaging experiences with their computing devices (see “IP That Senses and Cares,” http://www.chipestimate.com/blogs/IPInsider/?p=189). Otellini punctuated this statement by introducing the company’s Ultrabook, which will be available in time for the holiday season. Future Ultrabooks will run on the company’s new 22-nm processor, codenamed “Ivy Bridge.”

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At this point, Intel’s CEO injected a few words about Haswell. This next-generation microprocessor was developed in Oregon as a successor to the Sandy Bridge architecture. Haswell’s low-power design will enable all-day usage without taking a hit to performance.

To demonstrate Intel’s dedication to producing the most power-efficient devices known to man, Otellini introduced Sriram, a company employee. Sriram demonstrated a very-low-voltage transistor application. The processor in the demonstration consumed so little power that it was run on a small, postage-stamp-sized solar cell.

As noted in the three essential computing capabilities listed by Otellini, users have come to expect consistency from all of their computing devices. In other words, they expect familiar applications to work across every platform. Art, another Intel spokesperson, talked about a new kind of enterprise collaboration between Intel and Cisco, which resulted in a device known as Cicus. He demonstrated an Atom-based Cicus running with the Android operating system in a phone display application. Using the device, a user could place a phone call, engage in video chat, send e-mail, type an IM, and even go to a web page. The device interacts with other phones, PCs, tablets, and almost any other end-user system.

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This theme of different devices interacting with each other was highlighted again in the demonstration by Craig Raymond. After taking Otellini’s picture with his Android phone, Raymond used Intel’s Pair and Share (see Figure 2) technology to transmit the picture to an Acer PC. That PC served as the central platform for sharing all types of data. What enabled these connections was the Intel Teleport Extender, which paired the Android phone with the PC.

As computing becomes more pervasive, so will security breaches and malware instructions. Candace Worley, senior VP with McAfee, talked about the challenges facing traditional, software-based security (see Figure 3). She cited the example of a malware known as root kits, which embed themselves into an operating-system (OS) kernel. At this level, the malware becomes almost invisible to today’s antivirus products.

In response, Worley presented what she called “a fundamentally new approach to security, which combined both hardware and software techniques that monitored system memory and processor activity to detect attacks.” McAfee’s Deep Safe Technology Platform works with Intel’s VT capability on Core I3, I5, and I7 processors. The demonstration of Deep Safe stopping a security attach embedded in a downloaded YouTube video was very impressive.

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Before concluding the keynote, Intel’s Otellini announced a development partnership with Google around Android. Andy Rubin, senior VP of mobile at Google, explained that the partnership joins Google’s smartphone design teams with Intel to optimize the silicon and software for Android. In the past, the two companies have had similar partnerships for datacenter designs, Google TV, and the Chrome OS.

In summary, Otellini stated,” Computing is undergoing the most remarkable transformation since the invention of the PC.” As mentioned, he predicted that the innovations of the next decade would outstrip the innovations of the past three combined. As amazing as that progress may be, however, it is only the beginning of what’s to come.

 


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John Blyler can be reached at:
jblyler@extensionmedia.com