Quad-Core Systems and Our Conclusion
He then moved onto mobility and spoke of Intel's success with Centrino. Since Centrino's launch, popularity of notebook as skyrocketed and they now outsell consumer desktop PCs.
He spoke of the upcoming mobile "Santa Rosa" platform that will incorporate NAND storage, Core 2 Duo CPUs, 802.11n WiFi, and G965 chipset. Santa Rosa will be a big step up in performance, and will have better battery life through advancements in manufacturing and the use of NAND storage. NAND will be integrated onto the motherboard in Santa Rosa and we can see its obvious usefulness in a sort of scratch-pad application, allowing drives to spin down while data is cached in NAND memory perhaps. A NAND flash array should also allow for faster access to OS functions for enhanced instant-on capabilities. He then spoke of the progress with WiMAX and stated that WiMAX will be part of the Centrino platform in the future, as part of a total WiFi solution.
Intel then showed off some future ultra mobile designs that would be low-power and be able to run a full version of Vista in a handheld PC. They then pulled a Volkswagen out onto the stage and linked the Ultra mobile PC to the car's systems using 802.11n; the handheld PC had net connectivity through a WiMAX connection. The car's computer used the Ultra mobile PC's WiMAX connection to stream music from the web, and the UMPC sent maps and video to the car's computer. Videos and audio could also be streamed from the UMPC. It was capable of streaming multiple video feeds and audio simultaneously. Intel is all about impressive tech demos at this year's IDF.
Finally, we were treated to a sampling of Quad-Core gaming systems. Voodoo, Alienware, Gateway, Dell, Hypersonic, were all in attendance. Voodoo's water-cooled rig is always a crowd pleaser and looks very much like their line of OMEN Core 2 Duo systems but with a quad-core Kentsfield chip under the hood.
That wraps up our first installment of Intel-infused goodness from inside the halls and conference rooms of this year's Fall IDF. More to come later this week...