IDF 2002 Fall: San Jose, September 9 - 12.
Illustrated commentary, Part 1
In the evening, morning and at night the weather in San Francisco is
rather chilly, but by midday they turn on the sun and its wonderful warmth
carries us into a temperate south. The moisture is average and cops are
The daylight flooding the streets of the Silicon Valley gives a strange
hurt to the eyes. You can see a lot of sacred names of our industry here
as there are headquarters of Adobe, NVIDIA, Apple, Google and even a memorial
garage where Hewlett and Packard started their tough business.
Later we will come back to the sightseeing, and now it's high time to
return to visit the IDF. For the most participants the IDF started at 1
pm, but the press could attend the "prelaunch" conference. Frank Spindler,
Vice-President, Corporate Technology Group, outlined the key subjects of
the forum, having mentioned how investigations were important for Intel
and that the funds for them kept on growing. He also said that the forum
would be followed by 5 conferences all over the world, including Russia
(Moscow, October 2). Frank mentioned that Intel had over 75 research labs
located all over the world. There is also one lab in Russia (Nizhny Novgorod).
When I asked him after the conference about that lab I was surprised at
his quick and positive reaction:
He says that they carry out investigations in the software sphere - compilers
and pattern recognition etc., and in the field of technologies. Yes, they
have obtained certain results, which are positive and considerable, and
they are satisfied with the outcome of this laboratory!
When asked about graphics solutions, Frank assured that soon pleasant
news would come from the sphere of integrated graphics, the company kept
on working on it and was not going to be stuck with the core integrated
into the 845G.
One more my question concerned the future of computer graphics where
more and more flexible accelerators are fighting against rapidly growing
computational capabilities of central processors. Will a CPU be able to
calculate realistic graphics in a real time mode and how it's going to
affect the graphics accelerators? Frank says he's not authorized to comment
such a far future but he is sure about the stable growth of capabilities
of Intel processors.
Now let's proceed to the Convention Center for the opening ceremony:
Everyone feels free and easy in the hall. Tennis and game tables are placed
all over here for those who wish to kill the remaining free time. I'm really
short of it as the program is really tight - it includes plenty of briefings
and conferences, demonstration of products and technologies and special
parties to socialize. There she is - a cute press-girl from Argentina,
a deep crisis country:
Almost all large halls have WiFi access points (this wireless network supports
both standards - 11 Mbit 802.11a and 57 Mbit 802.11b). This is not just
a boasting showing of the new solution but a real support for all pressmen
and experts working at the IDF. The pictures of the wireless happiness
can be seen everywhere in this technological paradise:
Look yourselves - at the conference devoted to the announce of the Banias
I was able to deliver hot news to our newsman in real time mode via the
ICQ! All pressmen are offered WiFi cards (PC Card) for notebooks. You can
choose the standard yourself, probably to make sure that both standards
get along together perfectly on the new access points from Intel. By the
way, the access speed is appropriate - even in a crowded press room with
20 - 40 notebooks using simultaneously the wireless access the transfer
rate didn't fall below 20 KB/s. The most important thing is that I can
get more precise information on the Net, talk to my colleagues, visit the
IDF's site, send and receive e-mail or just send a photo to my mom. By
the way, all that is possible with the PocketPC equipped with an integrated
or external WiFi radio card. Such PDAs can often be seen here.
Meanwhile, the Convention hall shows unusual hand-made cases:
...something barrel-shaped, but looking nice...
This case is for a real, hard-core Gamer; it's probably based on the Aliens
Finally, look at this iron pumpkin:
... which, as if with a wave of a magic artist's hand, turns into the Pentium
4. Magic crosses my mind as well when I look at this box: through its panel
we can see empty water-filled space:
and above is the Pentium 4 again:
Well, let's leave the art aside and go to the opening, the first Key Note
where Intel's big men speak about new technologies, demonstrate innovations
and even play sketches to demonstrate the technologies. Symbolically, the
first key note started with a question:
"Is Intel a computer or communication company?"
which was followed by the prompt and firm answer:
Let me explain: this YES symbolizes both a positive mood, a successful
slogan of the new advertising campaign, and the dominant sphere of activity
of Intel for the next several years, i.e. convergence of communication
The basic subjects of this IDF are wireless communication, mobility,
new server solutions and data storage solutions. The key words are WiFi,
Banias, PCA (XScale), Itanium 2, Ultra Wide Band wireless, Seril ATA (including
2.0), AGP 3.0 and many others:
Gelsinger (CTO and Vice President):
"Welcome to IDF. Let me introduce you Paul Otellini (President)":
We are speaking about mobility, accessibility, convenience and convergence.
They are backed by a lot of standards and laborious work. Intel thinks
of people, Intel thinks of development of the industry and technologies:
First of all, it's necessary to draw together communications and computation:
... until they form a single whole. Let's see what the wireless communication
and mobility allow for (they played an interesting scene to demonstrate
advantages of the new mobile platform Banias and wireless connection of
While one of the workers was running looking for a power unit for a discharged
notebook and for a cable to connect a printer, another explained how he
could avoid those problems. It's clear - his notebook based on the Banias
was able to work for 5 - 8 hours and an integrated wireless adapter allowed
printing out a document which meant no fooling around with cables.
While waiting for his co-worker he talked to another colleague (using
NetMiting and WiFi network connection) who was in the Intel's headquarter:
In the end he said that with such outdated equipment he could send his
workmate only for coffee.
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