Intel is making sure it doesn't get left behind in the burgeoning mobile market, developing products and eco-systems that address all aspects of the environment.
At its developer conference this week, the company demonstrated how, from handhelds and netbooks for light-computing to the balanced performance and style of ultra-thin laptops to full-function laptop computing, it delivers a combination of priorities for every mobile experience.
The Intel Developer Forum keynote by Dadi Perlmutter, executive vice-president and Gm of the Intel Architecture Group, also marked the debut of three new super-fast and intelligent Intel Core i7 processors for laptops.
"Staying connected on an increasingly broad array of mobile devices has become the most exciting and quickly evolving part of technology," says Perlmutter. "Intel is delivering the total mobile experience on each device, offering different levels of performance and power in sleek form factors coupled with compatibility, a superior mobile Internet experience and embedded WiMax wireless broadband. We're truly taking mobility to the next level of cool."
Perlmutter also highlighted Intel's next generation of mobile processors, codenamed "Arrandale," which brings the Nehalem microarchitecture to mainstream laptops. These chips will integrate the dual-core CPU and graphics in the package and incorporate the 32nm manufacturing process and second-generation high-k metal gate transistors for increased performance and power efficiency for mainstream mobile PCs. This integration of platform components will continue into the future with a fully monolithic processor on 32nm, codenamed "Sandy Bridge".
Citing a combination of architectural, design and process enhancements, Perlmutter detailed progress with Intel's "Moorestown" platform, scheduled for 2010 and targeting MIDs and smartphones. He discussed some of the innovative techniques that Intel is implementing, such as Distributed Power Gating, for improved performance and major reductions in power and thermal envelope.
These technologies help to achieve up to a 50-times improvement in platform idle power reduction compared to Intel's first generation "Menlow" platform. The reductions are enabling Intel to establish new thresholds in ultra low power while making it possible to run the full Internet and media-rich applications in handheld devices.
Perlmutter also touched on Intel's third generation ultra-low power platform, codenamed "Medfield." Expected in 2011, Medfield will be a single-chip 32nm system-on-chip (SoC) design that will enable a much smaller form factor and lower power designs than Moorestown, helping extend Intel squarely into smartphone segments.
Perlmutter demonstrated a new high-speed optical cable technology ready by next year to connect mainstream electronic devices such as laptops, HD displays, cameras, video players, iPods, docking stations and solid-state drives (SSDs) to each other using optical fiber rather than copper wires, paving the way for a new generation of extreme input and output (I/O) performance.
Developed by Intel and codenamed "Light Peak," this proposed technology will spawn a new generation of extreme computer I/O performance, delivering 10Gb/s of bandwidth, with the potential ability to scale to 100Gbps over the next decade. At 10Gbps, a user could transfer a full-length Blu-ray movie in less than 30 seconds. The company intends to work with the industry to determine the best way to make this new technology a broadly available standard.
In addition, Perlmutter announced Intel Anti-Theft Technology (Intel AT) version 2.03, an intelligent technology in PC hardware that disables laptop PC and access to encrypted data if it's lost or stolen. Collaborating with key security ISVs, Intel AT will enable enhanced data protection, PC theft deterrence for consumers as well as a broad number of consumer and business laptops from leading PC OEMs in 2010.
In the day's second keynote, Renee James, corporate vice-president and GM of Intel's Software and Services Group, unveiled the Intel Atom Developer Program.
This effort encourages independent software vendors and developers to create mobile applications. Intel is partnering with manufacturers, including Acer and ASUS, to create multiple application stores where applications and application building blocks for Intel-based netbooks and handhelds will be sold.
"The Intel Atom Developer Program will drive new innovative applications for consumers and new revenue streams for software developers," says James. "The new program facilitates the creation of applications that consumers can use with confidence knowing they were optimized and validated for Intel Atom processor-based devices."
Additionally, operating system support for Microsoft Silverlight will be expanded to include Moblin early next year. Moblin is an open-source operating system project for netbooks, handhelds, smartphones and in-car computers. Using Silverlight's cross-platform foundation, developers will be able to write applications once and have them run on Windows and Moblin devices, expanding the reach of Silverlight applications to more devices and consumers, and thus demonstrating the continued push into PC, TV and phone.