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IDF Day 2 Coverage, Mobile Computing: Defining Cool
Date: Sep 24, 2009
Author: Dave Altavilla
Intel Mobile Computing: The Definition of Cool

The second day of IDF kicked off with a fevered pitch of mobile technologies while Intel's Dadi Permutter and Mooley Eden stepped through a slide deck and several tech demos that gave us a view of where Intel is today with their new generation of Core i7 Mobile "Clarksfield" technology and of the future generation products like Intel's upcoming Arrandale processor with integrated graphics.

Historically the focus on mobile computing has always been to reduce power consumption, increase battery life and processor speed as well as capitalize on the obvious thin-is-in trend.  However, moving forward Dadi suggested that new Intel technologies will afford us new usage models and applications, like real-time language translation, for example.

Intel platform architecture migration, enabling new features and
Arrandale integrated graphics on CPU, center shot

Next Dadi stepped us through Intel's well-known tick-tock architecture advancement strategy with Arrandale representing the "tock" evolutionary step we're soon to experience when Intel launches the new processor later this year.  Soon Intel's mobile CPU architecture will incorporate on-chip integrated graphics and reportedly the graphics core will offer a much-needed performance boost both in HD video rendering as well as gaming applications. Incidentally, we'll be bringing you more detailed coverage of Arrandale very soon actually.

Gaming, Multithreading and Dynamic Clock Gating with Turbo Boost

And of course there was no shortage of tech demos, with Intel firing up Resident Evil 5 on a Clarksfield notebook (discrete graphics) and then demonstrating independent clock gating on a per core basis with an image manipulation and stitching app, a lot like we did here in the video for our Clarksfield launch piece.

Atom's Evolution, Relieving 3G's Bottleneck, Intel Light Peak
Next, Intel's Mooley Eden took us from the high functionality, multimedia and gaming machines to the future of ultra mobile devices and Intel's Atom low power processor family.

Intel's ever-charismatic Mooley Eden talks next-gen hand-helds and Atom's future...

Although Atom-powered netbooks are definitely a cash-cow for Intel right now, you can be sure the company is targeting the handset arena with future generation Atom derivatives, where the unit volume opportunity scales exponentially.  Speaking of which, Intel is claiming that their future gen Moorestown core will offer up to a 50X power consumption reduction in various usage models (top right).

Left and Center: Intel SSD shake and bake, Right: Intel Light Peak

Intel Light Peak and WiMax Technologies - Long reach wired connectivity and 4G wireless

Mooley transitioned to a preview of Intel's Light Peak technology which will offer a single fiber-optic cable connection for HD Video, networking, and Storage with up to 100 meters for cable reach.  Intel reports Sony and others are already on board with this new cable technology standard. 

Finally, Mooley closed the keynote with a demonstration of Intel 4G WiMAX technology that Intel claims is set to alleviate the 3G bottleneck that folks like AT&T are struggling to manage. 4G WiMax network performance will reach speeds 3 – 6Mb/sec, bursting to 10Mb. Mooley gave examples of video conferencing applications where 3G uplinks only reach 200kbps, while a 4G connection can reach 800kbps.  The team then wrapped up with a live 4G WiMAX video conference compared to a 3G stream side-by-side. The 4G stream was noticeably smoother with better image quality and audio-video synchronization.

There's little question Intel has set forth some lofty goals and initiatives for their future generation technologies.  Executing on these is where the rubber will meet the road, so to speak.  Regardless, as the IDF show slogan was written to reminds us - Intel is intent on being the "Sponsors of Tomorrow".  We'll see how Intel will bring that vision together in the months ahead and keep you in the know along the way.

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