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September 11, 2014

5 key announcements from IDF14 so far

Intel Developer Forum is underway: here are the biggest talking points.

By Joe Curtis

Lost amid the fuss being made over Apple right now, Intel has made a series of big announcements at its annual Intel Developer Forum, IDF14.

Here’s five key take aways so far, from the Internet of Things to biometrics.

 

Edison

Intel’s Internet of Things (IoT) development platform, Edison, was first announced back at CES, but we got a lot more detail here.

Edison is Intel’s big hope to spur development of ultra-mini IoT devices running x86, the idea being that Edison will provide an IoT platform developers can easily put into their devices.

It’s going to be just bigger than a postage stamp, and will contain a dual-core Atom CPU at 500MHz and Quark CPU at 100MHz. It can also be attached to additional development boards to boost its functionality.

 

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RealSense

RealSense, a multiple-camera platform powered by Atom, will be aimed at tablets as Intel tries to crowd in on the space. The first tablet using it will be released towards the end of the year, and will be a Dell Venture device.

Intel claims it will enable some snazzy features like changing focus and measuring the distance between various figures in the photo.

 

Skylake

Despite Broadwell’s delayed release, its successor, and Intel’s 5th generation Core processor, Skylake, was previewed at IDF14. This is good news, with many previously expecting Skylake to be delayed as well.

Skylake offers up a new microarchitecture to build on Broadwell’s 14nm process node, aiming to improve performance, power efficiency and battery life.

Its appearance is proof the technology’s development has not been delayed – meaning Intel was determined not to let the delays that affected Broadwell hit the rest of the product line.

With volume production slated for the second half of 2015, Skylake could come out about a year after the first Broadwell parts are released, keeping tightly to its usual yearly timeframe of replacing products.

 

No more passwords

Yikes – Intel wants to scrap passwords. "We have to eliminate passwords. You are your password," said the firm’s PC man, Kirk Skaugen.

It appears to be following Apple down the route of biometrics, seeing voice, touch and 3D camera visualisation as the most secure ways to access your devices.

 

Software-defined systems

Intel sees software-defined data centres as a future not far off, and one key to its goal to underpin IoT devices.

Diane Bryant, general manager of Intel’s data centre division, said: "We believe that the data centre will look quite different from today.

"It will have moved from where applications are static to dynamic, from operations which are manual to where it is fully automated, and from siloed proprietary solutions to pooled, open and efficiently managed systems running on a common architecture."

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