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Digital-Daily : Editorial : idf_spring_2008

IDF Spring 2008: two first days

IDF Spring 2008: two first days
Date: 08.04.2008

Author: Marat Gabitov

After CES and CeBIT which were held in Las Vegas and Hannover, respectively, the next large event for the IT industry this year has fallen upon Shanghai where Intel these days is holding the spring's IDF (Intel Developer Forum). Since the time when the number of such events was cut down (Intel now holds three events every year), each Forum is a very serious event, so the three-day program is really packed - virtually every minute is scheduled. This overview provides a brief coverage of the first days at IDF.

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To start with, a few words on Shanghai which is holding the spring's IDF this year. This is China's largest city and one of the world's largest cities, and the population of Shanghai as per the latest data counts about 15 mln (or 20 mln according to some other data). Shanghai also proudly bears the name of the world's largest sea port. And the name of the city can also be translated as "entering the sea".

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Moscow and Shanghai are 7 thousand kilometers apart (takes 9 hours by air). The first thing that catches the eye is the ideal cleanliness everywhere around. The streets are very clean, and for the past few days we came across no dirty car! The lawns and shrubs are everywhere neatly cut, there are lots of Chinese around furbishing up the streets of the megalopolis. We should also give credits to the municipal authorities - Shanghai will be remembered as a clean city in the minds of many tourists.

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On the Shanghai roads which are in perfect state, you can come across cars mostly of local make or manufactured at joint ventures. There are many taxis mostly represented by Santana 3000 with the proud VW (Volkswagen) logo. By the way, the taxi is really cheap - 2 Yuans, so tourists use mostly this type of vehicles.

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At the number of skyscrapers, Shanghai is perhaps second to only US' largest megalopolises. The Shanghai World Financial Center is 492 meters high, while the famous Oriental Pearl TV tower is a bit smaller - 468 meters. For comparison, the famous Empire State Building is merely 381 meters high.

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Another invariable symbol of Shanghai, like any other Chinese city, is cyclists. There is a lot of most varied people on bicycles, motorbikes, and other two-wheeled vehicles. Although almost any major highway is accompanied by a bikeway, these drivers manage to ride simply all the way round - on oncoming traffic lanes, sidewalks, pedestrian crossings. Perhaps the instinct of self-preservation is missing completely. Sometimes you simply wonder how they manage to do without road accidents in all this mess.

IDF Shanghai 2008: Day zero

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The first day of the Forum is referred to as "day zero" since the official launch will be started a day later; in the meantime, the company specialists are holding conferences and demonstrations for the press representatives who are about 650 people who gathered from all the corners of the planet, including the author of these lines. The key topic of this day is China. Representatives of Intel's local division were telling about the advances achieved for the past years.

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All began 24 years ago when Lenovo was established and opened an era of computers in China. For this period long enough for the IT industry, China has substantially reinforced its presence in this high-tech production. There appeared the "Chinese Silicon valley", a great number of factories for the manufacture of computer hardware, a huge army lot of young people were trained (about 100 mln people), and a lot of qualified teaching experts were prepared (about 1 mln people).

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Therefore, it is no wonder that the Chinese market of PC is rising in 50% increments every year, which makes the country a world's leader at that. That is why largest IT companies, including Intel, keep a close eye on China. Intel was among the first to arrive in China - in 1985 when a representation office was established in Beijing. Here are a few slides demonstrating the dynamics of computer market progress in China:

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To date, 7 thousand people work at the 16 offices and branches of Intel in China, and the volume of direct investments for all the time of operation has attained $4 bln. This is another proof of the fact that Intel takes the Chinese market seriously indeed. Let's close the topic of China for now.

Kevin Kahn, Intel's honorable research engineer, director of Communications Technology Lab, told about new research underway in the field of mobile devices and in particular, about Intel's new research concept for mobile computing which was named as "Carry Small, Live Large". Specialists at Intel have their own views on the future mobile devices which should be compact, power-efficient, use all the available resources, as well as offer the users services having a higher level of customization.

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Intel's new research in this field are based on the achievements in the four most important categories:

  • Reduction in form factors and increase in power-efficiency. This implied development of new power-efficient features and reduction in sizes through hardware control of the platform components to provide support for much longer and deeper states in the idle modes of devices. The specialists also aim at creation of a fully digital multi-range reconfigurable antenna which will consume less power and allow creating more compact devices.
  • Personalization, aiming at user needs. Intel is investigating technologies for mobile devices of the future which will receive data on user preferences and provide new services and features that meet expectations. For that, there may be used sensors, context interfaces, web services.
  • Raising intelligence of mobile systems to establish interaction with surrounding technical devices. There is a need for methods which will let substantially surpass the integrated features of mobile systems due to the use of power and the capabilities of surrounding wireless devices.
  • Standardization. In the opinion of Intel's specialists, today the incompatibility is a hindrance in the way of expanding the capabilities of mobile devices and evolution of the unified mobile ecosystem. Intel is cooperating with standards organizations, as well as with many partners to achieve the development of the right standards which would help implement the "Carry Small, Live Large" concept.
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To realize the posed goals, a number of complex tasks need to be solved. One of the most important is building a universal solution to offer support for a great number of wireless interfaces whose number will be increasingly going up with time.

The next speaker was Andrew Chien, vice president of Corporate Technology Group and director of Intel Research, whose presentation was devoted to discussions of the most important direction of research within the "Carry Small, Live Large" program - development of technologies which allow for creation of more intuitive computing devices able to interact with the environment.

As a proof of Intel's work in this direction, there were interesting exhibits, including robots, displayed in the expo hall. For instance, an interesting mechanism which is able responding to an object's position between its "fingers". If we place our hand over there, then on motion of the human hand the robot opens up its "hand" to avoid contact.

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Now move on to describing the other exhibits. For instance, here is a Wireless USB adapter made by IOGear and inverse-compatible to USB 2.0.

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At one of the most interesting expo stands that attracted the visitors' attention, they invited all who want to take part in a simple game. The idea behind it is to send another fish to the company of its "congeners". We thought that couldn't be easier. But the "spice" was in that you had to wave your hand at the right moment.

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As you can see, there is a web camera on the monitor that fixes the motion that captures and recognizes the image. So, once you wave with your hand it seems to you that you send the figure to the right place with your hand. It somehow resembles the operation principle of Nintendo Will game-set, with the difference that no joysticks are needed. Indeed, that is a new level of interactivity in games.

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As is known, the next graphic chipset Intel G45 will support not only HDMI but the DisplayPort output which will come to replace DVI and D-Sub. Among the key advantages of the solution is the much smaller size of connectors, which allows creating truly delicate and stylish solutions.

Content:

  • Page 1 - IDF. Day Zero
  • Page 2 - IDF. Day One




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