Platforms

Otellini also talked about the evolution of Intel Architecture based platforms. Intel has been pushing its platform focus for some time now, with the vPro platform bringing new levels of remote management and security to business users. But now Intel is looking to create platforms across the board, with ultra low power platforms at one end, and high performance computing platforms at the other - and of course everything in between.
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One of those platforms is for gaming, and Intel feels that with the forthcoming launch of its X38 chipset, it will be able to create the ultimate gaming platform. X38 is designed to be as flexible as possible, allowing enthusiasts and overclockers to tweak and tune their PCs to perfection. Intel is well aware that the high-end enthusiasts are willing to spend a lot of money and want a platform that gives them the ability to, well, play.
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Intel is also committed to improving its integrated graphics solution. Otellini said that the problem with graphics chips is that they are generally at least a generation behind CPUs when it comes to manufacturing process. So, while CPUs are currently on a 65nm process, GPUs are still 90nm. Likewise when Intel moves to 45nm, GPUs will move to 65nm, although in 2009 we'll see 45nm GPUs to go with 45nm CPUs. In 2010, when the CPU manufacturing process drops to 32nm, we'll see graphics processors at the same 32nm process.
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Having built a phenomenally successful mobile platform in the shape of Centrino and built on it year after year, Intel isn't sitting back on its laurels. Under the heading of Extreme Mobility, Otellini talked about the future of mobility, pulling up a slide from IDF 2005 which predicted 10x performance and 10x lower power by 2010.
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Otellini revealed that although the 10x performance prediction was still on track for 2010, the 10x lower power would be hit next year, two years earlier than predicted. He then added 10x lower idle power draw would also be achieved by 2010.
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The next generation of Intel notebook platform - Montevina - brings WiMAX into the mobile mix, with the Echo Peak WiMAX / Wi-Fi combo card. Montevina will also debut the mobile version of Penryn, moving 45nm into the mobile arena.
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But it's not just notebooks that represent the future of mobility as far as Intel is concerned. Otellini was also keen to talk about Mobile Internet Devices, with the Menlow platform arriving in mid-2008 and bringing WiMAX to the party. Perhaps the introduction of WiMAX will make mobile Internet devices more than just gadgets.

Finally Andrew Fanara from Energy Star joined Otellini on stage to talk about the reduction of power consumption in the computing industry. Andrew concentrated on the data centre, rather than consumers and revealed that data centres account for 1.5 per cent of all power usage in the US.
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The Eco Rack above represents a huge step forward in data centre power draw reduction. The Eco Rack can allegedly use as much as 18 per cent less power than a conventional rack server setup, which equates to over $44,000 in savings a year.
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Like all of the other technology that Otellini talked about, environmentally friendly and cost efficient technology like that in the Eco Rack will filter down into the hardware that we use every day, in a kind of extreme to mainstream way.

 
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