Rolling over to SF for IDF is about as easy as it gets for us when it comes to trade shows. From our offices, we have a direct line of sight to the Bay Bridge. Why bother with traffic reports when you can just look out the window. Compared to other conferences, like E3 and Comdex, IDF is a relative breeze when it comes to registration and getting about. Even though security was supposed to be very thorough, there weren’t any delays because of them. The only thing that got in the way this time was I. With school and midterms, getting around to IDF proved to be very difficult.
Just like at Comdex, tons of new stuff is announced at IDF. The big difference here is that it’s mainly Intel’s day in the limelight, or shall I say week. Intel itself announced quite a few things on the first day of the show.
On the general Intel info stuff, they now have five fabs running at .13 micron, with plans for a new plant in New Mexico. They also started using 300mm wafers at a plant in Oregon, along with a .13-micron production line; this yields roughly four times as many processors as an .18-micron process paired with 200mm wafers. It seems as though Intel doesn’t seem consumption going down the coming years, in spite of the economic downturn.
Starting with Craig Barrett’s (CEO of Intel) keynote speech, Barret explained how Intel was going to get through the recession. It was going to spend itself silly. In doing so, they hope to create loads of new products that will stimulate the economy. This does make some sense, as sitting idle and waiting for things to get better sure isn’t going to help, especially if you want to be the one on top in the end.
The excitement began when Barret and his cohort proceeded to create an entirely digital movie using an air-cooled Pentium 4 3GHz machine. All the animation was done by a program that extrapolated just about everything it needed from a series of digital still shots. After that things died down for a bit, until they started to feed HDTV broadcasts through these computers. In one single demo, they showed that “fast” just is not enough. By having the computers decode HDTV broadcasts, the machines were almost completely taxed. The network bandwidth between these two computers was nearly saturated. The need for speed is out there, even before we get “there”.