1 of 10Image
The day before the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) starts, the international press is traditionally given a research and development briefing. This time, the briefing included a showcase of new technologies fresh from the labs, in some cases still years from any commercial deployment — if, indeed, they'll ever make it.
Those ideas that do survive the process will lapse back into secrecy as they get closer to the market, while those that don't will quietly disappear or be absorbed into other projects. Either way, this is the only time this mix of ideas is on display, so make the most of this rare look behind the scenes.
The March Of The Nanobots
One of science fiction's favourite themes is that of an army of robots too small to see. Working on a cellular or atomic scale, these intelligent 'nanobots' are designed to help us create whatever we like from nature's most basic building blocks — with an effectively unlimited range of tasks in medicine, industry, home and work. Intel has started work on the wide range of inventions that need to be brought together to make this work, such as the software needed to control them and ways for silicon to configure itself into a three-dimensional microscopic platform.
The skeletal cubes to the right of the picture are a demonstration of how static forces can be used to manipulate and align objects, while the round devices in the centre that look something like a stack of poker chips are the prototype robots themselves.