At this year's annual Research@Intel event in San Francisco this week, the chip giant showcased more than 35 projects it's working on in its five key R&D areas of energy efficiency, terascale, mobile tomorrow, exploratory research and ethnography.
Some of the highlights in key R&D areas at the event included:
* Datacenter Power and Thermals Management Prototype
The Datacenter Power and Thermals (DCPT) prototype demonstrated group-level power management of servers in a data centre including realtime power monitoring and management. The primary benefits are reduced power and cooling requirements, scalable management, and reduced TCO.
* Energy-Efficient Power Delivery to the Data Centre
Today's data centres are major consumers of power and this is set to increase in the future. Intel has been researching power efficiencies in all areas of the data centre, from silicon to power delivery, including power conversion. This demonstration showed the results of power savings through reduced power conversions.
* MashMaker: Mashups for the Masses
MashMaker is a tool that makes it easy for normal users to combine information from multiple Web sites in the form of mashups. MashMaker allows users to find useful information by browsing and following links without having to plan what they want in advance or having to write programs.
* Interactive Search Assisted Decision Support for Medicine (ISADS)
The goal of ISADS is to enable doctors to make more informed decisions about a given case by providing a selection of similar annotated cases from a large data repository. The fundamental challenge in developing ISADS systems is the identification of similar cases, not simply in terms of superficial image characteristics, but in a medically-relevant sense. ISADS is a collaborative research effort between Intel, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
* Dynamic Physical Rendering
The Dynamic Physical Rendering Project is working towards a "material" that can change its shape under software control. This material, which would be composed of millions of tiny robot modules, could then be used to mimic arbitrary objects and 3-D scenes. Applications could include tangible, interactive 3-D visualisation; new forms of user interface; and smart antennas.
* Dynamically Composable Computing
The user interface of a small form-factor mobile device results in a poor user experience in some computing scenarios. DCC research explores how to compose a more effective computing environment from wireless resources found in the locality. A prototype composition manager middleware application enables creation of a logical computing platform on the fly, and uses a high-bandwidth UWB radio to connect the component parts.
* Context-aware Instant Messaging
Instant messaging has become a regular communication method for tens of millions of people. With avatars, personalisation features and the immediacy of communication, IM is a near-proxy for many people. Intel's researchers showed in this demo how an individual's context (conversation, activity, and application states) can be sensed, inferred, and communicated with a user's contacts automatically in mobile situations.
* Pedestrian Navigation on Mobile Devices
Portable navigation devices designed for vehicles suffer a usability crisis in the hands of pedestrians. Aligning the displayed map with the real world can be frustrating. Fortunately, inertial sensors built into the device can help overcome this alignment challenge. 3-D accelerometers, gyros, and magnetometers sense gravity, rotation, and the Earth's magnetic field to resolve the device's pose, allowing digital maps like Google Earth to stay oriented to the device's true heading.
* Mobile Internet Devices
Mobile devices constantly evolve while form factors continue to shrink and performance and connectivity increase. Intel demonstrated some of the new and innovative ultra-mobile form factors and UIs it will have available in 2008. It also showcased Glide, a push-button interface allowing users to share all of their media, as well as get some work done. It ran Red Flag's Linux on these devices.
* Personal Digital Money
Despite its increasing complexity, intangibility, and virtualisation, individuals want money to be personal: personally understandable, expressive and controllable. A two-year Intel exploration is using ethnography and design to re-imagine how we could interact with digital money.
* Personal Multimedia Enhancement and Management
In order to better organise and improve both commercial and user-generated content, Intel is researching model-based multimedia applications to allow future PCs to comprehend and manipulate pictures and videos in realtime. Examples include: sports highlight detection for smart video browsing, automated personal video authoring and sharing, and quality enhancement for user-generated video.
More on Research@Intel can be found at Intel.com/technology.