Intel Developer Forum (IDF) and Moore

On Tuesday, 9/18/07, I attended Intel Developer Forum held at the large Moscone Center West in the beautiful San Francisco. IDF is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year and yet I have never attended one before, perhaps due to my association with Sun. Intel is a relatively new partner to Sun and we’re ramping up the learning curve on Intel’s offerings so we can design server products around it.

I came away very impressed with Intel’s speed in execution. Looks like they have all the ducks lined up and firing on all cylinders: Penryn, Nehalem, Tolapai, and etc. The attendance was very good – around a thousand or so. The topics that stood out for me:

1. All the 3-week-old wafers that are showing off Nehalem, Tolapai, and etc. Looks like they’re working just fine. Excellent execution, Intel. Being paranoid and having a good competitor like AMD really helps to spear things along. 🙂

2. USB3: 10x the speed of USB2. It has optical and copper phy layer. This could potentially put some of the PCEe devices out of business due to the parity in performance. Of course, we may see an explosion of I/O devices that normally resides within the box. I can just picture HDTV, HD camera, high-performance storage array, and etc.

3. Mobility: WiMAX and etc. We may well be cutting out all the cables soon on PC’s.

4. I didn’t get the chance to see the show cases. I heard lots of good product offerings though.

The highlight of the day is the appearance of Gordon Moore, the originator of “Moore’s Law.” By his own account, Moore’s Law may soon hit a wall in 10 or 15 years when we may hit the physical limits of material properties. When asked about making tough decisions, he said, “Tough decisions are normally very close. You may as well toss a coin.” Dr. Moore suggested that life science may be the way to go for today’s engineers. Being in a new industry has its reward as in the in case of Gordon Moore himself. He projects that computer still needs to be able to interact with human as the next wave of computer innovation.

I felt a sense of excitement as in the early days of the computer shows. Intel is leading the effort to re-shape the computer industry. I think I’ll go back again next year.

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