Tech trends at Intel Developer Forum San Francisco, September 16 , 2012 –The semi annual Intel Developer Forum (IDF), in San Francisco last week, saw company embrace the ‘O’ word without ifs, buts or inhibitions. Renée James, senior vice president and general manager of the Software and Services Group at Intel Corporation, outlined her vision for what she called transparent computing, a concept is made possible through an “open” development ecosystem where software developers write code that will run across multiple environments and devices.
We bring you highlights of her keynote – as well as other IDF launches including radio-embedded Atom chips; biometric gesture based passwords, video-aware wireless networks anda next-generation wireless standard called WiGig.
“With transparent computing, software developers no longer must choose one environment over another in order to maintain profitability and continue to innovate,” said Ms James. “Consumers and businesses are challenged with the multitude of wonderful, yet incompatible devices and environments available today. It’s not about just mobility, the cloud or the PC. What really matters is when all of these elements come together in a compelling and transparent cross-platform user experience that spans environments and hardware architectures. Developers who embrace this reality are the ones who will remain relevant. ”Software developers are currently forced to choose between market reach, delivering innovation or staying profitable. By delivering the best performance with Intel's cross-platform tools, security solutions and economically favorable distribution channels, the company continues to take a leadership position in defining and driving the open software ecosystem.
Central to Intel’s operating system of choice strategy, the company believes a solution to the cross-platform challenge is HTML5. With it, developers no longer have to make trade-offs between profitability, market participation or delivering innovation in their products. Consumers benefit by enabling their data, applications and identity to seamlessly transition from one operating system or device environment to another.
During her keynote, James emphasized the importance of HTML5 and related standards and that the implementation of this technology by developers should remain open to provide a robust application development environment. James announced that Mozilla, in collaboration with Intel, is working on a native implementation of River Trail technology. It is available now for download as a plug-in and will become native in Firefox browsers to bring the power of parallel computing to Web applications in 2013.
Everything that Computes is Connected.
In his keynote at the Intel Developer Forum, Intel Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner said, "In the future, if it computes, it connects. From the simplest embedded sensors to the most advanced cloud datacenters, we're looking at techniques to allow all of them to connect without wires."
Rattner demonstrated for the first time a working, all-digital WiFi radio, dubbed a "Moore's Law Radio." He explained that an all-digital radio follows Moore's Law by scaling in area and energy efficiency with such digital chip processes as Intel's latest 22nm tri-gate technology. System-on-chip designs for smart phones and tablet computers would be the most likely spot for the all digital radios to be integrated. The small size and lower cost of integrated digital radios will enable a host of new applications from wearable devices to "The Internet of Things" where devices such as home appliances with sensors can communicate with each other, exchange data and can be operated remotely.
Rattner went on to describe a next-generation wireless standard called WiGig that operates in the millimeter wavelengths of the radio spectrum and delivers bandwidths well over 5 gigabits per second. The WiGig standard is an industry-wide effort to consolidate a number of proprietary 60 GHz wireless technologies under the existing WiFi standard.
"WiGig is so fast it will let you wirelessly dock your enabled Ultrabook™, tablet or smartphone without wires," said Rattner. "Even multiple displays can be docked at one time."
Showing how the benefits of Smart Connect technology could be enhanced to include active operation for file transfer and video streaming, Rattner demonstrated "Spring Meadow," which manages communication between the cloud and the device more intelligently. By pre-processing incoming network traffic and proactively managing traffic flow, "Spring Meadow" makes more efficient use of the host processor, allowing it to remain in a low-power state longer without impacting system performance.
Eliminating Passwords, Increasing Security
Passwords remain the common, yet inconvenient way of protecting access to valuable or sensitive information. In an effort to eliminate the need for passwords, Intel Labs has developed a replacement scheme called Client Based Authentication Technology. Not only does it replace passwords, it dramatically simplifies and accelerates the process for accessing bank accounts, stock portfolios and other cloud-based personal information.
The technology allows the user to authenticate once to the physical device such as an Ultrabook™ or smartphone using a biometric sensor and then lets the device automatically authenticate itself with one or more cloud-based services. Reading a person's unique vein patterns in the palm of the hand, the user is then directly taken to his or her bank account, social network page or any kind of secure service. It also provides presence monitoring capability that locks the device and the secure service connection when the user puts his or her device down. A new biometric scan unlocks the platform and immediately restores the previous secure service connections. The whole process is virtually transparent, easy to use and more secure.
Rattner described another research area, called a Video Aware Wireless Network (VAWN), where both service providers and end users will benefit from the latest wireless research. VAWN is the focus of a joint academic research program sponsored by Intel, Cisco and Verizon. With mobile video traffic expected to grow significantly over the next 5 years, according to Cisco Visual Networking Index, wireless networks could be constrained and video quality limited without new innovations. VAWN aims to increase the streaming video capacity of wireless networks while improving the viewing experience by optimizing network performance on an end-to-end basis.