At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco today, company CEO Paul Otellini introduced a new Intel, if you will, a company that is focused on just more than the chips that it's supplied for PCs and servers for a generation.
During opening remarks, he talked about things like consistency, seamless connectivity and interoperability between devices. He spoke of the changing computing environment and the demands of users who want their content to move from one device to another. He spoke of software and applications and, more importantly, Intel's support for new operating systems.
There are three pillars of computing today, he said - energy-efficient performance, Internet connectivity and software. Intel's shift is focused around these pillars, he said. And, as the company focuses on what Otellini called "the evolution of smart," the pillars are highlighted.
At the Moscone Center today, there's plenty of signs that one of the biggest areas of innovation for Intel this year - and largely into next year - is the rise of SmartTV. The company has previously said that it is partnering with Google and Logitech to launch the first Google TV products later this year.
And, of course that leads us to the latest "Wi," called WiDi - or Wireless Display. On stage, the company offered a peek at what Google TV will offer, via a WiDi Sony screen - but this demo wasn't the same as what we've come to see from Google.
This was less about the TV itself but instead was focused on the interactivity that users can have from their TV sets: watching TV, checking Facebook, chatting or even doing a Web search were highlights of the demo. For Intel, it was the power of the technology that was center-stage, the idea that HD content, live streams and real-time interaction - all secured - reflected the power of the technology around those three pillars of computing.
SmartTV, Otellini said, is a category that he believes will take off very quickly.
But it's not alone. Devices are getting smarter and there are a number of categories hitting the scene these days - the most obvious of which is tablets - and that's pushing the momentum of Intel's Atom chips. LIkewise, data centers are also have to be smarter as the interest in cloud computing continues to flourish. Intel wants to provide the computing power behind those, as well. Otellini said:
Computing has become an indispensible part of our daily lives. Our vision is to create a continuum of personal computing experiences that provides consistency and interoperability across all Internet-connected devices in the home, car, office or in your pocket. At the heart of this continuum will sit Intel technology that will make devices smarter, more powerful and more useful. We’re changing how we develop and deliver solutions so we can deliver on this vision.
During the keynote, Otellini also talked about how the next generation of Intel Core computing, codenamed Sandy Bridge, is a game-changer that will revolutionize personal computing in a way that we haven't seen since the introduction of WiFi-enabling Centrino chips in laptops. The chips will be largely available in early 2011.
On this single chip, the company said it is putting all of the critical capabilities of computing, not just core microprocessing capabilities. That includes graphics capabilities and the architecture to ramp up power when the device needs the additional performance and to ramp down the power when it's not needed.
"It's a very important chip for Intel," he said.
IDF continues through the week at San Francisco's Moscone Center.