This year it was held in Gdansk in Poland and the hot topic was WiMAX.
Intel’s annual EMEA Academic Forum (now in its tenth year) is a traditionally theoretical and futuristic technological chinwag about the way things should be rather than the way they are. This year, however, reality looked to be very much on the agenda so I hopped on a super early morning flight to Gdansk in Poland to see what the company had to say.
Now Poland might not be the first backdrop you think of to debate the infinitesimal complexities of the technological future, but it was actually rather apt. This is because the big theme of the Forum would turn out to be WiMAX.
WiMAX, for those of you in need of a quick recap, stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access and is essentially a protocol that allows data to be transmitted wirelessly over great distances (the potential radius is up to 31 miles). In essence, it is like one giant Wi-Fi hotspot and the ability to deliver such blanket umbrella coverage without miles of cable infrastructure means cost savings for the end user. Hence the benefit for remote and/or less affluent countries, hence Poland.
This being an Academic Forum in Poland, however, the trip did have to begin talking all about Poland. Intel’s big cheese Christian Morales, (VP and General Manager for EMEA) kicked things off. He talked heartily about the company’s Polish employment drive and the training plans it has for its staff, along with the courses it offers to the local universities for students interested in getting into the industry. Charitable as this was, it was long and didn’t really hit my remit.
One to one talks with Soumyanath Krishnamurthy (Intel’s Director of Communications and Circuits) and Abel Weinrib (VP Corporate Technology – above) ensued, but these guys mostly rehashed stuff you have already read about in our Intel Developer Forum (IDF) coverage, particularly the company’s faith in multi-core processors. More cores is better than greater clock speed, we aim to put more memory on the chip, blah blah….
It was clear these guys were holding off on the good stuff for the Forum’s official day: tomorrow…