Live blog from the Gelsinger-Perlmutter IDF keynote


Let's try this again, with (we hope) more Nehalem
— 2:31 PM on August 19, 2008

IDF San Francisco -- Starting at 12:30PM Pacific time, Intel execs Pat Gelsinger and Dadi Perlmutter are giving enterprise- and mobility-themed keynote speeches.  Join us live from the Moscone Center as we commit typos in real-time in an attempt to live-blog the event.

12:30PM: Warming up now, playing loud, annoying pop music.  The stage is adorned end to end with a broad array of demo systems. 

12:36PM: Still waiting.  Sweaty press people are jamming into the seats around us.

12:43PM: Well, the Wi-Fi is slammed.  Back to the magical Sprint cell network apparatus.  Keynote will begin in two minutes.

12:46PM: Lights down, "Welcome to the embedded Internet" video blares.  "Putting the more in Moore's Law."  So clever. 

12:48PM: Gelsinger enters, "Welcome to my home. My Internet home."  It's Eureka!

Embedded Internet talk, then we'll explore Nehalem microarchitecture, then talk about visual computing (Larrabee!).

Embedded Internet is about Internet access embedded into everyday devices, ubiquity.  Every human is connected to Internet 7x24.  Terrifying?  Yes, but he doesn't seem to mean it that way.  Hmm.

Aiming for 15 billion Internet connected devices by 2015 via Atom processors and SoC platforms.

Need to move to IPv6 to make it work.

12:54PM: Shows the embedded "chopper" motorcycle with cameras and stuff.  Uh, okay.

Pimpin' Atom now.

12:57PM: Announced first SoC last month, with roadmap.  Atom and purpose-built SoCs.  Example of embedded Menlow board, slightly bigger than a credit card.

Back to the Eureka house.  This house runs Adobe Flash.  Good grief, no!  Atom-based house.  Tracks energy use, remote managed over Internet.  Equipped with IP media phones.

Video demo of IP media phone.  Atom-based, of course.  Photo-frame-sized screen with touch commands.

1:02PM: Moving into automotive embedded market.  Alex Busch from BMW comes onstage, says they're using Atom.

Demo time.  BMW convertible rotates around on stage right with people inside. Atom-based entertainment system inside, based on Mobiln mobile Linux.  GPS directions app uses 3D imagery in first-person type view.  LCDs in back of headrests show a movie to rear-seat occupants.

1:08PM: BMW guy is done. Now on to architecture!  Nehalem, tick-tock cadence for development of chips.

But first...  quick update on other things.  Itanium: roadmap is "alive in well" "on track" and "doing well."  Okay.

Dunnington: Xeon 7400 series launching next month.  6 cores, high-k 45nm.  First performance results now.  Set new records on the SPEC and other enterprise benchmarks.  New TPCC record.  1 million TPCC result, industry first on eight-socket IBM system with good scaling.

1:11PM: Now to Nehalem, or Core i7, as we've announced.  First products in Q4 of this year.

Holds up wafer with first silicon of Nehalem EX, the 8-core version.

Nehalem: want to spend some time on power management, especially Turbo mode.  Calls up Rajesh Kumar, power architect on the chip.

Kumar:  Have long shut off parts of chip with clock gating, but doesn't help with leakage power.  Now we can shut off all power.  Making this work required a whole new process tech.  Extremely low resistance when it's on, high resistance when it's off.  Collaboration with process and design team.

New power control unit, integrated microcontroller on chip.  More than a million transistors.

Pat: that's more than my 486!

Nehalem Turbo mode brings power headroom back into performance.  With two active cores, we turn off inactive cores and crank up the active ones dynamically for higher performance.  Power control unit manages this.

1:17PM: Kumar's offstage.  Pat: want to look at some user scenarios for Nehalem.

HPC--requires high compute density.  DDR3 offers high bandwidth and capacity in small footprint.

NASA has just completed first phase of multi-year computing project, going to take delivery of loads of Nehalems for next phase.

Rupak Biswas of NASA in audience, waves Hi.

Kevin Mack of Sony made a funky animation they're showing.  Trippy mulitcolored goo streams by.  Going to compare a Harpertown (Xeon) sytstem to Nehalem.  Nehalem renders the scene faster.

1:22PM: Rich ?? from VMWare onstage to demo virtualization with VT.  VM DirectPath allows virtual machine lower level hardware access to a NIC to lower CPU overhead for network-intenstive applications by using VT-d address translation and protection.  And time for a demo...

Running SPECjbb.  One uses VM DirectPath, the other does not.  Both based on Nehalem.  DirectPath VM is 1.7X speed of non-DirectPath VM.

1:26PM: Pat: these demo systems used 16GB DDR3 DIMMs, first demo of that.

On to Ibex-Peak platform with two-chip setup: single-chip core logic and north bridge on Nehalem.

Now pimpin' vPro.  Zzzz...

Video: Verizon on vPro remote management stuff.  Likes the ability to reach into devices turned off and manage them.

grhioirgrgofo8hew

Sorry, dozed off and nose hit the keyboard.

1:29PM: Nehalem demo of Lost Planet: Colonies.  Yorkfield vs. Nehalem.  Nehalem is over 50% faster thanks to eight cores, faster cores.

Now Cinebench with overclocked Nehalem and Yorkfiled.  Over 30% faster on Nehalem.  45850 Cinebench R10 rendering score.

1:31PM: Moving to visual computing.  Larrabee.  Larry Seiler comes up on stage.

Sweet beard.

Seilier: Larrabee gives developers freedom to do what they want.  Will run OpenGL and DirectX.  Lets us extend pipelines with features developers have wanted for years.  Dragon sort order example from Seiler's paper.  Sorting is difficult with existing pipeline, possible with Larrabee.

Video demo of large numbers of translucent surfaces sorted automatically.

Now a shadow demo... oh, wait, new slide, please.

Shadows with irregular Z-buffer requires complex data structures.  Larrabee can do it.  Video example: scene with irregular Z-buffer and smooth shadow edges.

Also can do ray-tracing.  At Siggraph, I summarized message in 50 secs.

Larrabee uses binning to remove serialization bottlenecks, reduces bandwidth required.  Graphics requires more programmability.  Supports virtual memory and fully coherent caches.

Seiler, uh, sings about his Larrabee class on Thursday.  Not kidding.  Holy poop.  I guess I'll go.   ...and he's done.

1:37PM: Pat's recapping his speech now.  And wrap that.  Permutter's next.  Cue video.

1:39PM: Perlmutter's up.  Mobility time.

Mobile computing is mainstream.  Notebooks are about to surpass desktops for shipping numbers.

Number of notebook designs growing.  30+ for first Centrino.  Almost 250 for new computers now.

Talking about how notebooks have progressed in size, performance, battery life, etc.  Expects almost twice as many notebooks to ship in 2012 as desktops.

1:45PM: Going to introduce quad cores into notebooks.  Recalls first Cray quad-processor system, which was of course huge.  Then to the 1990s, 200-300W quad-CPU box.

"Craig" is here to demo mobile quad-cores.  Lenovo W700, Dell, Fujitsu.  Live HD video conference demo.  Some dude with a beard is on a beach somewhere.  Talking about SSE4 optmizations and headroom.  He's drinking a Corona.  Heh.

Hmm.  Do you care about more than two cores in a laptop?  Tough sell here, IMHO.

1:49PM: Montevina recap.  Craig is going to show us some Centrino 2 systems.  Bake-off video encoding, Montevina vs. Santa Rosa vs. Napa platforms.  Guess which is fastest?

Craig's wandering down to a Vaio with switchable graphics.  Crappy Intel GMA and Nvidia discrete GPU, switched between them without reboot, although it's slow.  Power use drops with switch from GPU to GMA.   ~9W savings, over an hour of battery life.  We don't care whether it's ATI or Nvidia, we'll switch with either.

First laptop that can play a Blu-ray disc movie on a single charge.

Now a desktop AOpen that's based on Montevina, SFF box.  Nice.

CyberPower box with Extreme mobile CPU runnng Assassin's Creed.  Kinda slow graphics, though.  Uhh, not a great demo.

1:55PM: Uh oh.  Adam's laptop battery is toast.  We're fading out...

Now talking about Intel SSDs. IOMeter demo.  SSD gets 7000 IOPs, 5400-RPM drive gets 62 IOPS.

Coming soon, first 80GB drive shipping in 30 days.

1:58PM: Mobile group..  Calpella platform with Nehalem.  Will tell you more at next IDF.  Demo of validation board.

2:00PM: HP dude comes up to talk about small form factor systems.  Talking about value-added resellers, distribution, blah blah blah.

EliteBook laptops, 12.1" screen, 3 lbs, aluminum skin, ULV and LV processors, 5400 and 7200-RPM drives plus Intel SSDs, which bring longer battery life.  12-cell version will run 24 hrs with SSD.

Now on to mobile workstation quad-core.  Nearly dropped it, which would have likely severed his foot.  Phew.

2:06PM: We're live on my Eee PC 901.  Wi-Fi's working now, at least.  Salvation?

Video about notebook theft protection tech.

Demo of tech.  Dude in black slinks across stage, steals laptop.  Demo dude logs into command center, gives the laptop the "poison pill."  Sends disable request to laptop.  Tracks laptop's location via GPS signal.

Ohh, Gelsinger swiped it.  Ha.  Ha.

2:14PM: Wireless broadband, WiMax time.  Soon shipping components.  Seven OEMs will ship with Echo Peak Intel WiMax in Q4.  Working with Sprint/ClearWire, Comcast, Time Warner, Google.  First network to be launch in Baltimore in coming few months.

Remote video conference with ClearWire CEO.  Yee-haw.  Err, John Saw.  Over WiMax network, of course.  Network in Portland, OR covers over 1.2M people, commercial launch soon.  Also building other metros.

 2:20PM: Time to talk netbooks and MIDs.  Uh oh, embedded Internet again.

Atom was intended for extremely small form factor MIDs, but now it's in embedded, digital home apps.  It's all that and a bag of, er, chips, of course.

Expect Atom-based MID shipments to grow to almost match laptop shipments by 2012.

Netbook examples from Asus, Acer, Lenono, Gigabyte. 

Who will use them?  Basically everyone.  Originally designed for emerging markets, but people are using them in mature markets for education, second-third-fourth computers.  Usages quite wide.  (Like live-blogging, eh?)

Now for MIDs.  They're gonna be great.... eventually.

Tomorrow's keynote, 8AM, will address this more.

Video: on-the-go computing.  People talking about how great their businesses will be in the future.  CTIA, BT, Myvu.  Myvu = media viewer glasses.  eInk paper-like electronic display.  Touchscreen.  Very high res grayscale.  Transpera guy.  Web videos for mobile phones. 

Making this happen is up to us, to developers.  

That's a wrap!

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