Intel Developer Forum gets mobile strategy in motion

Appropriately enough, Intel‘s movement in the processor market will be marked at IDF 2003 by a focus on mobility.

The Intel Developer Forum, which runs Tuesday to Friday this week in San Jose, Calif., will kick off as usual with

a keynote from CEO Craig Barrett. He’ll be bringing to the forefront some of Intel’s key investments over the last few years into the wireless space — primarily Manitoba and Centrino, which will be introduced to market this year.

“”This convergence of computing and communication is happening in a very rapid manner in the handheld space,”” said Gadi Singer, vice-president of the company’s wireless communications and computing group. “”In the wireless form, there is a really global phenomenon of adding more and more data, more and more computing elements such as Java computing into the fold.””

Singer will deliver a keynote at IDF on Wednesday where he will discuss the narrowing gap between cell phones and PDA devices, the transition of Intel architecture into mobile platforms, and Intel’s own PCA-related product offerings. “”We look at it as one continuum of clients or entry points into the digital universe,”” said Singer.

It is practically inevitable that Intel begins to push its agenda in the mobile space this year, according to IDC Canada Ltd. analyst Eddie Chan. “”The PC sector itself is a fairly mature market, so going through wireless or going through other mobile computing devices — that’s the growth engine,”” he said. “”It’s the same with Microsoft’s smart phone OS. That’s the next wave. You’ve got to get on the wagon or someone else will.””

The hot topic at IDF will be wireless and mobile technologies, but Barrett will also discuss the introduction of Intel’s Prescott and Dothan processors on 90 nanometer (nm) technology, marking an evolution from 130 nm. “”As we go to the 90 nm product, the use of strained silicon attacks the key issue of mobility in the junction,”” said Pat Gelsinger, senior vice-president and chief technology officer. Gelsinger will introduce Barrett for the opening keynote and preside over Friday’s “”Research Day.””

The move to 90 nm will help the company make the transition to 300 mm wafers, which should make Intel’s chips faster and cheaper. IBM already makes 300 mm wafers at its Fishkill, N.Y., facility, following in the footsteps of TCMC and Motorola.

Intel will also discuss in some detail Deerfield (the codename for Itanium 2) and roadmaps for Xeon and IA-32 enterprise computing. Part of that discussion will be hyperthreading, a technology which allows a processor to work on two separate threads, theoretically doubling its speed.


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