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IDF 2013: Keynote, Day 2

This is a liveblog of the day 2 keynote at Intel Developer Forum (IDF) 2013 in San Francisco. (Here is the link for the liveblog from the day 1 keynote.)

The keynote starts a few minutes after 9am, following a moment of silence to observe 9/11. Following that, Ulmonth Smith (VP of Sales and Marketing) takes the stage to kick off the keynote. Smith takes a few moments to recount yesterday’s keynote, particularly calling out the Quark announcement. Today’s keynote speakers are Kirk Skaugen, Doug Fisher, and Dr. Hermann Eul. The focus of the keynote is going to be mobility.

The first to take the stage is Doug Fisher, VP and General Manager of the Software and Services Group. Fisher sets the stage for people interacting with multiple devices, and devices that are highly mobile, supported by software and services delivered over a ubiquitous network connection. Mobility isn’t just the device, it isn’t just the software and services, it isn’t just the ecosystem—it’s all of these things. He then introduces Hermann Eul.

Eul takes the stage; he’s the VP and General Manager of the Mobile and Communications Group at Intel. Eul believes that mobility has improved our complex lives in immeasurable ways, though the technology masks much of the complexity that is involved in mobility. He walks through an example of taking a picture of “the most frequently found animal on the Internet—the cat.” Eul walks through the basic components of the mobile platform, which includes not only hardware but also mobile software. Naturally, a great CPU is key to success. This leads Eul into a discussion of the Intel Silvermont core: built with 22nm Tri-Gate transistors, multi-core architecture, 64-bit support, and a wide dynamic power operating range. This leads Eul into today’s announcement: the introduction of the Bay Trail reference platform.

Bay Trail is a mobile computing experience reference architecture. It leverages a range of Intel technologies: next-gen Intel multi-core SoC, Intel HD graphics, on-demand performance with Intel Burst Technology 2.0, and a next-gen programmable ISP (Image Service Processor). Eul then leads into a live demo of a Bay Trail product. It appears it’s running some flavor of Windows. Following that demo, Jerry Shen (CEO of Asus) takes the stage to show off the Asus T100, a Bay Trail-based product that boasts touchscreen IPS display, stereo audio, detachable keyboard dock, and an 11 hour battery life.

Following the Asus demo, Victoria Molina—a fashion industry executive—takes the stage to talk about how technology has/will shape online shopping. Molina takes us through a quasi-live demo about virtual shopping software that leverages 3-D avatars and your personal measurements. As the demo proceeds, they show you a “fit view” that shows how tight or loose the garments will fit. The software also does a “virtual cat walk” that shows how the garments will look as you walk and move around. Following the final Bay Trail demo, Eul wraps up the discussion with a review of some of the OEMs that will be introducing Bay Trail-based products. At this point, he introduces Neil Hand from Dell to introduce his Bay Trail-based product. Hand shows a Windows 8-based 8” tablet from Dell, the start of a new family of products that will be branded Venue.

What’s next after Bay Trail? Eul shares some roadmap plans. Next up is the Merrifield platform, which will increase performance, graphics, and battery life. In 2014 will come Advanced LTE (A-LTE). Farther out is 14nm technology, called Airmont.

The final piece from Eul is a demonstration of Bay Trail and some bracelets that were distributed to the attendees, in which he uses an Intel-based Samsung tablet to control the bracelets, making them change colors, blink, and make patterns.

Now Kirk Skaugen takes the stage. Skaugen is a Senior VP and General Manager of the PC Client Group. He starts his portion of the keynote discussing the introduction of the Ultrabook, and how that form factor has evolved over the last few years to include things like touch support and 2-in-1 form factors. Skaugen takes some time to describe more fully the specifications around 2-in-1 devices, coming from hardware partners like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic, Sony, and Toshiba. This leads into a demonstration of a variety of 2-in-1 devices: sliders, fold-over designs, detachables (where the keyboard detaches), and “ferris wheel” designs where the screen flips. Now taking the stage is Tami Reller from Microsoft, whose software powered all the 2-in-1 demonstrations that Intel just showed. The keynote sort of digresses into a “Microsoft Q&A” for a few minutes before getting back on track with some Intel announcements.

From a more business-focused perspective, Intel announces 4th generation vPro-enabled Intel Core processors. Location-based services are also being integrated into vPro to enable location-based services (one example provided is automatically restricting access to confidential documentation when they leave the building). Intel also announced (this week) the Intel SSD Pro 1500. Additionally, Intel is announcing Intel Pro WiDi (Wireless Display) to better integrate wireless projectors. Finally, Intel is working with Cisco to eliminate passwords entirely. They are doing that via Intel Identity Password, which embeds keys into the hardware to enable passwordless VPNs.

Taking the stage now is Mario Mller, VP of IT Infrastructure at BMW. Mller talks about how Intel Atom CPUs are built into BMW cars, especially the new BMW i8 (BMW’s first all-electric car, if I heard correctly). He also refers to some new deployments within BMW that will leverage the new vPro-enabled Intel Core CPUs, many of which will be Ultrabooks. Mller indicates that 2-in-1 is useful, not for all employees, but certainly for select individuals who need that functionality.

Skaugen now announces Bay Trail M and Bay Trail D reference platforms. While Bay Trail (also referred to as Bay Trail T) is intended for tablets, but the M and D platforms will help drive innovation in mobile and desktop form factors. After a quick look at some hardware prototypes, Skaugen takes a moment to look ahead at what Intel will be doing over the next year or so. He shows 30% reductions in power usage coming from Broadwell, which will be the 14nm technology Intel will introduce next year. From there, Skaugen shifts into a discussion of perceptual computing (3D support). He shows off a 3-D camera that can be embedded into the bezel of an ultrabook, then shows a video of kids interacting with a prototype hardware and software combination leveraging Intel’s 3-D/perceptual computing support.

And now Doug Fisher returns to the stage. He starts his portion of the keynote by returning to the Intel-Microsoft partnership and focusing on innovations like fast start, longer battery life, touch- and sensor-awareness, on a highly responsive platform that also offers full compatibility around applications and devices. Part of Fisher’s presentation includes tools for developers to help make their applications aware of the 2-in-1 form factor, so that applications can automatically adjust their behavior and UI based on the form factor of the device on which they’re running.

Intel is also working closely with Google to enhance Android on Intel. This includes work on the Dalvik runtime, optimized drivers and firmware, key kernel contributions, and the NDK app bridging technology that will allow apps developed for other platforms (iOS?) to run on Android. Fisher next introduces Gonzague de Vallois of GameLoft, a game developer. Vallois talks about how they have been developing natively on Intel architecture and shows an example of a game they’ve written running on a Bay Trail T-based platform. The tools, techniques, and contributions that Intel have with Android are also being applied to Chrome OS. Fisher brings Sundar Pichai from Google on to the stage. Pichai is responsible for both Android and Chrome OS, and he talks about the momentum he’s seeing on both platforms.

Fisher says that Intel believes HTML5 to be an ideal mechanism for crossing platform boundaries, and so Intel is announcing a new version of their XDK for HTML5 development. This leads into a demonstration of using the Intel XDK (which stands for “cross-platform development kit”) to build a custom application that runs across multiple platforms. With that, he concludes the general session for day 2.

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