Turbo mode in action

This is where Intel is giving roadmap briefings
Let's see what we can dig up...

Intel will be hosting its Intel Developer Forum (IDF) over the next three days in San Francisco, following in the wake of a major executive reorganization. Stalwart speaker Pat Gelsinger has left for EMC, but there are many others eager to take his place.

DailyTech will be covering IDF extensively this year. There will also be occasional updates available via Twitter.

The world's largest semiconductor company is eager to discuss the launch of new CPUs using their 32nm process. One of Intel's key strengths has always been manufacturing, giving them the ability to propagate Moore's Law.

DailyTech has been told that production of 32nm Westmere chips has already started in preparation for the upcoming product launch. Using their second generation high-k metal gate transistor technology, Intel expects to move the bulk of their CPU production to the P1268 process next year.

Most of the first Westmere chips will feature a 32nm dual-core CPU and a 45nm GPU integrated on the same package. Intel plans to introduce a six-core Westmere chip codenamed Gulftown early next year, but the company has decided against any new quad-cores until the introduction of the Sandy Bridge architecture next year.

AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions) will be a big part of Sandy Bridge. It is a 256-bit instruction set extension to SSE and was designed especially for applications that are floating point intensive. The enhancements in AVX will allow for improved performance due to wider vectors, new extensible syntax, and rich functionality including the ability to better manage, rearrange and sort data. Intel first announced AVX at the Spring Intel Developer Forum in April 2008, and it will eventually make its way into most of Intel's platforms.

Intel has also certified the new P1269 System-On-Chip process. The company claims it will be able to create ultra low power transistors for low standby/always-on circuit applications and high voltage I/O transistors. This process also includes new high-precision and high-quality passive components specifically needed for SoCs, such as resistors, capacitors and inductors.

DisplayPort hasn't been adopted as quickly as expected, but that is expected to soon change. Intel is planning to put DP into a large number of future chipsets. The monitor manufacturers that DailyTech spoke with indicated that the lack of video card and motherboard support for DP was the primary reason they haven't introduced many DisplayPort products.

The UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is an effort by many companies in the PC industry to modernize the boot process.  The interface consists of data tables that contain platform-related information, plus boot and runtime service calls that are available to the operating system and its loader. Some UEFI capable systems are already shipping, and PC firms want to make a rapid shift to the new system. Most platform firmware will continue to support legacy BIOS booting during the transition period to UEFI.

We will also receive briefings and updates on chipsets supporting SATA 6 Gbps, USB 3.0, ACPI 4.0, and PCIe 3.0.

Intel will also show off Whisper, which allows a user to set their noise tolerance. The CPU will down-clock itself automatically to reduce fan speed. This will be particularly useful for those wishing to build Home Theater PCs.

It isn't just Intel at IDF though. There are dozens of companies here eager to show off their own technologies. Some are familiar names, like Lenovo, Microsoft, and Cisco. Others are just hoping to get their big break.

Intel's President Paul Otellini starts off the day with a keynote speech on "Building a Continuum of Computing", but the speech by Intel Architecture Group EVP Sean Maloney will be the one that we're excited about. The first day of IDF ends with a concert by Maroon 5.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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