EE Times published a list of some of the things Intel will unveil this week at the IDF. It includes the Canmore x86-based processors for consumer electronic devices like set-top boxes, more details about the firm's SSDs, info on Larrabee and Advanced Vector Extensions and a lot more.
* A new media processor: For about a year, Intel has talked about Canmore, an x86-based processor for consumer electronics systems such as set-top boxes. Expect to hear some real details on the chip at a Wednesday keynote. It is part of the company's drive into multicore system-on-chip designs for a range of computer and embedded markets. Separately one IDF presentation will detail a software framework for Internet TV. This is probably a fairly minor, open source initiative, but no details were available at press time.
* Solid-state drives: Intel has also talked about entering the market for flash-based drives for awhile. Expect some details on its first products at IDF. As last week's Flash Memory Summit showed, a growing range of companies are rolling out SSDs, typically using the serial ATA interface, to replace or complement hard drives in a range of notebooks, desktops and servers.
* Graphics: Most of Intel's disclosures about its Larrabee discrete graphics chip for 2010 came out in a Siggraph paper earlier this month. But Intel will share a few more details about the chip and its software support. The company is expected to give at IDF more details about the so-called Advanced Vector Extensions it plans to make to its x86 architecture. It makes sense for Intel to try to make its x86 core a better vector processor to go after jobs served today by custom AMD and NVidia graphics processors.
* DDR3: Intel will demonstrate ultra-dense memory modules using a new controller from startup MetaRAM that announced its approach on DDR2 memories in February. The startup can pack as much as 192 Gbytes into a server using modules equipped with its controllers. Intel is evaluating the MetaRAM technology for use with its motherboard designs. So far, MetaRAM has gotten some design wins from second-tier PC makers for its DDR2 modules. The DDR3 controllers will be in production by the end of the year.
* Other CPU news: Intel will discuss its first quad-core notebook processor at IDF. It will also disclose a new energy-saving feature baked into its new Nehalem chips. A handful of sessions will tackle the more pressing topic of crafting software support that can adequately harness the growing number of cores on PC processors. One session will talk about enhancements to C/C++ for multicore, presumably discussing Intel's lab work on what it calls Ct. Microsoft will also give a talk on its view on multicore software.