Intel Developer’s Forum 2011

As you might expect, a great deal of the opening keynote address at the Intel Developer’s Forum 2011 by CEO Paul Otellini was focused on how Intel will address the needs of the exploding mobile device market.  Following the theme of the “Future of Computing,” Otellini stated that we are still in the early stages of the evolution to mobile and that no one device will be at the center of the computing experience.  Even though most of the excitement and marketing emphasis is on tablets and smartphones, Intel’s perspective is that the post-PC world is not quite here yet and the PC is still at the center of the user’s digital experience. Otellini highlighted Intel’s Ultrabook initiative and the new development relationship between Intel and Google in his comments. The Ultrabook received even more attention in the 2nd day keynote by Intel VP Mooly Eden.

Part of this focus on the mobile world is of interest to embedded designers – increasing performance through yet another die shrink (to 22nm) and the accompanying emphasis on power reduction and cooling.  Intel VP Steve Smith discussed the 22nm roadmap with tri-gate technology. Tri-gate transistors provide the same performance as planar technology but uses lower voltages, with up to a 50% reduction in power consumption. With 22nm tri-gate technology, a quad-core CPU (Ivy Bridge) could be built in the same area with the same power consumption as a dual core CPU using 32nm technology.  As a point of interest, Intel is already investing in 14nm production – Moore’s law is still at work!

The embedded ecosystem was well represented as Advantech, a Premier Member of Intel’s Embedded Alliance, was joined by 20 other exhibitors making up the “Embedded Community” at IDF.

We had lots of excellent conversations during IDF and kept our technology experts and system architects busy as they discussed how Advantech is turning the latest Intel silicon innovations into custom and off-the-shelf hardware platforms. We were able to present not only our blades and systems using the latest Intel technology but also  concepts which reduce total cost of ownership and ways we help our customers overcome the challenges of tomorrow, with equipment designs scaling from small-to-medium businesses to corporate offices and in to datacenter-hosted clouds.

One key topic for discussion related to the latest innovations in processing and software technologies that are now being utilized to great effect in Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) applications. DPI is at the core of many new and emerging applications where multicore Intel processors offer a distinct advantage over their single core siblings. They maintain all the benefits of IA technology, including ease-of-programming, timely tick-tock refresh cycles and dependability. When coupled with optimized packet processing software, our Intel-based solutions enable the creation of a more scalable range of services at significantly higher bandwidths. At IDF we were able to demonstrate the improvements generated when you combine network acceleration and optimized packet processing software with Advantech’s Intel platform enhancements. Along with our software partners we’ll showed off a number of examples of the performance gains observed across a whole range of multi-core systems.

We were also able to generate significant interest in our new FWA-3210 Network Appliance that was announced at IDF.  The FWA-3210 is targeted at CPU-intensive applications such as high-end Unified Threat Management (UTM) and applications with large I/O bandwidth requirements such as quality and service control or content filtering and management. With tremendous potential for a wide variety of applications the 1U form factor FWA-3210 1U Network Appliance is powered by processors utilizing the LGA-1155 socket, including the Intel® Xeon® processor E3 family and the 2nd generation Intel® Core™i3/5/7 processors.

Overall the Intel Developer’s Forum was an excellent event as it brought together the great and the good from all technology disciplines and market segments to discuss the future direction of computing. I always return with a good buzz and a full calendar of follow-up meetings.

Paul Stevens – Telecom Sector Marketing Director


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