This spring's IDF is, for most, a two-day event that brings together Intel's leading technologists and partners for a melee of discussion on how the semiconductor giant will transform the future of technology. Press are invited, of course, as long as they behave themselves.
Leafing through the voluminous guide that accompanies such events, it's clear that Intel is keen to focus the press' attention towards digital enterprise; mobility; ultra-mobility; and general research. Each day has a number of tracks that delve deeper into the technologies - and HEXUS will endeavour to bring you informative and insightful analysis on the speeches that are often laced with the appropriate level of hyperbole.
Out of the 21 tracks, the first day, Wednesday, track 1 is telling. Focussing on MIDs (mobile Internet devices), Intel will, no doubt, be eager to push home the advantages of its recently-announced Atom processor. WiMAX will also receive more attention, but, really, it will be some time before it truly impacts on UK folk; 3G still has some life in it yet.
Intel will spill more beans on its upcoming (45nm-based) Nehalem CPU architecture, and if our performance extrapolations are anything to go by, it should be, on average, around 20 per cent faster than a Penryn-based Core 2 Duo operating at the same speed. We may even get to play with one, under Intel-controlled conditions, naturally.
We'll get to know more about the mobile Centrino 2 platform (Montevina), and thus conjecture how it will compete against AMD's Puma.
Hardware is only one part of the game. Intel makes a concerted effort to educate software architects on how better to code for its multi-threaded processors, but how many current desktop applications take full advantage of four cores, eh?
Intel and STM today formally announced the formation of Numonyx B.V. - creating a flash-memory goliath, and we'll learn and disseminate more about their combined vision for the next year. We expect to see Intel release a larger range of solid-state drives as a result.
Intel, too, has been the main proponent of DDR3 memory, used on its mid-to-high-end desktop chipsets. NVIDIA's recently joined the party, but we'll hear more about why DDR3 is so important for desktop and laptops in 2008. We, however, reckon there's significant life in DDR2 yet.
Technology standards such as faster USB (SuperSpeed), next-generation wireless (802.11n, though), and digital-rights management all get a look-in, as well.
No doubt causing a kerfuffle within NVIDIA and ATI (AMD) ranks, Intel will disclose a few more nuggets on its many-core Larrabee architecture, which could potentially be a death-knell to one of the two existing large-scale GPU manufacturers.
There will be a whole host of server/HPC-related talk, of course, and we'll know more about six-core Dunnington, Tukwila (Itanium) and how companies can maximise their potential be leveraging the innate goodness of virtualisation.
Something for everyone, we guess, from petaflops to milliwatts, but most readers will be interested in just how Nehalem performs, what to expect from soon-to-be-released MIDs and low-cost laptops featuring the Centrino Atom platform in its Diamondville guise, and just how seriously Intel is taking the solid-state hard-drive market.
Nothing revelatory, folks, but we'll do our best to get some behind-closed doors footage and editorial.