IDF: 25 Products Building The Intel Ecosystem, One Hardware Or Software Piece At A Time4:00 PM EST Wed. Sep. 18, 2013
The recently concluded Intel Developer Forum (IDF) was a place for Intel to show off its latest processors such as its new Atom C2000 "Avoton" low-power processors and its new high-performance Xeon server processors.
More importantly, however, was the opportunity for attendees to see first-hand a new wave of systems, components and software built on and into the Intel ecosystem.
Highlights from the show floor and demo rooms at IDF included new mobile and tablet PCs, software-defined networking and other solutions, a wide variety of advanced semiconductors, and even products for the gamer inside all IT geeks.
Couldn't get to IDF? That's OK. Just turn the page for a look at some of the most interesting offerings at the conference, including many not seen prior to this slideshow!
Finland-based tablet and handheld device OEM maker AAVA Mobile used IDF to unveil its "Inari" line of OEM tablets designed for vertical markets and enterprise deployments. They include new 8.3- and 10-inch ruggedized Bay Trail tablets aimed at retail, transportation and other business segments.
The Inari tablets feature waterproof (to IP65 specifications) and dustproof, and can withstand a 1-meter drop, AAVA said. They also include digital pen compatibility as well as a removable battery to avoid recharge times.
The Inari tablets feature the Windows 8.1 operating system, and their hardware can be customized as needed. The company promises four-year availability to help customers with long-term deployments. Availability is scheduled for early next year.
Acer America, San Jose, Calif., previewed its first Intel Haswell-based Chromebook, designed in collaboration with Intel and Google.
Acer did not provide details about its new third-generation Chromebooks other than that they are based on the Intel Haswell platform and are expected to be available in time for the year-end holiday season.
ADI Engineering, Charlottesville, Va., said it is making available a new development kit for entry-level SDN/OpenFlow network white boxes with Gbit Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi. The Gigabit SDN Development Kit (GSDK) is based on the "Rangeley" Intel Atom processor C2000 and on LINC, an open-source implementation of the OpenFlow 1.3 standard, which is available for free under the Apache 2 License.
The GSDK helps OEMs evaluate, develop and deploy new classes of low-cost Gbit and wireless SDN and OpenFlow products for applications such as embedded, industrial, energy, small or medium enterprise, and military. It features an 8-core, 2.4GHz Intel Atom processor C2758, eight Gbit Ethernet ports, two 10-Gbit Ethernet ports, and 802.11n Wi-Fi. The kit comes pre-installed with LINC, and is ready for OpenFlow/SDN software evaluation, customization and deployment. The GSDK can be purchased as a white box networking solution from ADI.
Audience, Mountain View, Calif., unveiled the earSmart eS320 at IDF. The earSmart eS320 is an advanced voice processor designed for mobile devices including tablets, ultrabooks and hybrid all-in-one PCs.
The earSmart eS320 was designed to process voice in such a way as to let mobile devices hear voices similar to how humans do. This includes the Audience 360-degree Voice feature, which lets users move freely around their devices while preserving voice quality using only two microphones instead of the three or more needed with legacy systems, Audience said.
It also features Super Wideband noise suppression for making clear VoIP calls in nearly any environment, as well as technology for isolating a speaker's voice from the environmental noise to help improve speech-to-text capabilities.
Taiwan-based Chenbro used IDF to debut its new Cubicom200 enclosure designed for the Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) commercial series motherboard.
Intel is pushing its NUC as a new standard for small-form-factor PCs. The new Chenbro Cubocom200 supports both current third-generation Intel Core processors and is expected to also support NUCs based on fourth-generation Intel Core processors. It has an option for a 2.5-inch hard drive.
Cypress Semiconductor, San Jose, Calif., at IDF unveiled three new USB 3.0 solutions the company said will enable new applications of the 5-Gbps SuperSpeed USB 3.0 standard. These include:
* The EZ-USB CX3 programmable camera controller for adding USB 3.0 connectivity to image sensors supporting the Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI) Camera Serial Interface Type 2 (CSI-2) standard for CCTV.
* The EZ-USB FX3S USB 3.0 storage controller, which supports dual Secure Digital (SD) or embedded MultiMedia Card (eMMC) interfaces. It is based on Cypress's West Bridge architecture to allow simultaneous links among storage media, application processors and USB 3.0.
* The EZ-USB FX3 CSP USB 3.0 peripheral controller for industrial and consumer camera designs.
Dell at IDF showed off its Alienware Aurora gaming desktop based on the new Ivy Bridge-E family of Intel Core i7 4-core and 6-core processors, including an Extreme Edition option.
The Alienware Aurora also features next-generation Nvidia GeForce 700-series graphics and AMD 8900-series graphics options support for multidisplay, 3-D or higher resolutions beyond 1080p gaming. Also available is an optional ALX chassis with an intelligent thermal management system using active venting technology.
The Alienware Aurora is now shipping. Prices start at $1,399.
Switzerland-based protocol test and analysis solutions developer Ellisys used IDF to introduce its new USB Explorer 350 Protocol Analyzer/Generator system for technology developers designing products based on the new USB 3.1 specification.
USB 3.1 includes a SuperSpeed USB 10-Gbps speed mode with an efficient data encoding system to deliver over twice the effective data throughput performance of existing SuperSpeed USB while maintaining compatibility with existing USB 3.0 software stacks and device class protocols.
Ellisys said it plans to provide more information about the USB Explorer 350 within the next four to six weeks.
IBM used IDF to launch its NeXtScale System, a new and flexible platform the company said offers triple the core density of current 1U rack mount servers for fast-growing workloads including social media, analytics, technical computing and cloud delivery.
The NeXtScale System fits up to 84 x86-based systems with 2,016 processing cores in a standard rack using industry-standard components such as I/O cards and top-of-rack networking switches. The NeXtScale System's software stack includes IBM General Parallel File System, GPFS Storage Server, xCAT and Platform Computing.
IBM is offering new NeXtScale solution starter kits for configuring high-performance computing and small cloud solutions. The new servers can be purchased as single nodes, empty or configured chassis, or in pre-tested full racks.
Integrated Device Technology (IDT), a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of mixed analog and digital semiconductor solutions, at IDF unveiled a supercomputing and data center reference platform based on its 20-Gbps RapidIO interconnect devices. The new platform features a RapidIO-based backplane, compute nodes with RapidIO-to-PCIe interconnect, and Intel Xeon-based servers to help the company's OEMs to develop scalable and energy-efficient supercomputers and data centers.
IDT said the new platform will be used as a basis for computing and switching reference design submissions by the RapidIO Trade Association (RTA) to the Open Compute Project. The RapidIO-based reference platform supports up to 48 advanced mezzanine card-based compute nodes per chassis, with backplane communication speeds up to 20 Gbps between chassis. Using external RapidIO-based top-of-rack switching, the platform scales to up to 64,000 nodes per system.
Inphi, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based developer of high-speed, mixed signal semiconductor solutions for communications and computing developers, demonstrated at IDF its latest Isolation Memory Buffer (iMB) technology on Load Reduced DIMMs (LRDIMMs) and DDR4 Registers.
One demonstration showed what Inphi termed "significant" improvements in the memory bandwidth using 32-GB iMB-enabled LRDIMMs on fully populated server systems.
The second demonstration showed a new generation of DDR4 registers and data buffers to help customers transition from DDR3 to DDR4.
Intel, which a week before IDF unveiled its Atom C2000 "Avoton" processors for use in server, storage and networking products, used IDF to show off its Atom Z3000 "Bay Trail" multicore system-on-chip (SoC) processors for tablet PCs and other client devices.
Intel launched three new multicore "Bay Trail" Intel Atom Z3000 SoCs targeting Android and Windows 8 devices, and said it expects OEMs to launch such devices starting in the fourth quarter.
OEMs already committed to the platform include AAVA, Acer, ASUS, Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba.
Intel claimed the Intel Atom Z3000 Processors provide devices with over 10 hours of active battery life2 and three weeks of standby power. Devices with starting prices of $199 will be available, Intel said.
IDF also saw Intel show its new Pro 1500 Series SSD, which the company is targeting at business-class client devices.
The Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series includes advanced manageability and security features when compared to the company's lower-cost SSD. For instance, data is protected from unauthorized access with enterprise-grade security features, including hardware-based 256-bit AES encryption and industry-standard Opal key management protocols.
The Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series is designed to work with the fourth-generation Intel Core processors with Intel vPro technology. IT managers can use the Intel Setup and Configuration Software to remotely manage the devices and proactively monitor storage health.
Invensas, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of semiconductor technology solutions, used IDF to demonstration several of its recent semiconductor advances.
The Invensas Multi-Die Face-Down (xFD) product in use with multiple tablet and Ultrabook solutions connects memory chips in an upside-down shingle-stack configuration and then interconnects them with ultra-short wire-bonds to reduce component size while increasing product bandwidth, speed and performance.
Invensas' Bond Via Array (BVATM) mobile solutions connect mobile system-on-chip (SoC) processors with their associated mobile memory chips to enhance bandwidth while reducing battery drain.
Kingston, Fountain Valley, Calif., introduced prototypes of several new memory modules at IDF 2013. They included working DDR4 memory, XMP certified HyperX memory on a new Ivy Bridge-E based desktop, 2133 MHz SO-DIMMs for a Haswell-based notebook, and ECC memory in an Avoton-based microserver.
The DDR4 memory demo highlighted 192 GBs of working 2133MT/s DDR4 registered DIMMs at 1.2V operating on a future Intel reference platform. The Kingston HyperX demonstration showcased the latest HyperX memory validated through Intel's XMP certification process. The Microserver demonstration included 1,600MHz, 1.35V low-voltage ECC SODIMM memory on an Intel Atom C2000-series "Avoton" microserver.
Kontron, an Eching, Germany-based developer of embedded computing platforms, paired up at IDF with Vantrix, a Montreal-based provider of software for managing large-scale networks, to demonstrate a new cloud-based video transcoding and delivery platform targeting workload performance and scalability for broadcasters, carriers, and providers of cloud and content delivery services.
The solution combined the Kontron SYMKLOUD Media platform with 18 modular Intel Core i7 processors with Vantrix's real-time video optimization and delivery applications.
Vantrix said the new platform can transcode up to 144 live 1080p videos using 750 Watts, or 5.2 Watts per video channel wit third-generation Intel Core i7 processors, and that a future version using fourth-generation Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processors is expected to nearly double that performance.
Lenovo introduced two new ThinkServer tower servers at IDF featuring new Intel Xeon E3 processors and Intel AMT 9.0 for remote manageability.
The ThinkServer TS140 targets small businesses looking for their first server, or for retail or front office use. It supports a single Intel Xeon E3-1200 v3 processor with up to 32 GB of memory and up to four 3.5-inch SATA drives. Inside are three PCIe slots and a Gbit Ethernet connector, and customers can add extra Gbit Ethernet connectors and an optional 450-Watt, 92-percent efficient power supply.
The ThinkServer TS440, targeting SMBs looking for a system with expanded capabilities, includes more memory, eight Ethernet ports, dual hot-swap power supplies with a 92-percent efficiency option, and room for up to eight hot-swap SAS or SATA drives.
Both models are slated to be available early September, with pricing for the TS140 starting at $421 and the TS440 starting at $679.
OCZ Technology Group, San Jose, Calif., used IDF to unveil new smaller form factor Z-Drive R4 PCIe SSDs, which support such new platforms including the Open Compute Project (OCP).
The company also showed a variety of software-defined storage solutions and SSDs in various interfaces, including SATA, SAS and PCIe, and highlighted its upcoming Intrepid 3 SATA III SSD solution based on its Everest 2 platform.
Milpitas, Calif.-based Pericom Semiconductor, a developer of serial high-speed connectivity, signal-conditioning and timing solutions, unveiled new signal integrity, switching and timing products at IDF it said target advanced connectivity requirements of new CPU chipsets for mobility, cloud, enterprise and embedded applications. They include new Signal Integrity products, which are small, low-power optimized USB 3.0 and PCIe 2.0 ReDriver/Repeaters targeting small form factor mobility platforms.
Also new are products designed to work with the latest mobility and cloud/enterprise CPU chipsets, including a family of USB 3.0 analog switches, and an HDMI1.2/DP1.4 video switch.
Finally, Pericom introduced a new family of clocks for embedded CPU applications and extremely low-jitter, high-performance crystal oscillators optimized for 10/40/100-Gbit Ethernet cloud and enterprise platforms.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based PCIe silicon and software developer PLX Technology showed its first live demonstration of PCIe as a standalone box-to-box fabric interconnect in a data center rack.
The IDF demonstration highlighted clustering and I/O sharing via a PLX-designed top-of-rack switch box connecting via PCIe to multiple 1U servers, all housed in a standard data center rack. The rack was connected to the cloud through Ethernet to represent rack-to-rack connection, which the company said shows how its PLX ExpressFabric works in small and mid-sized data center clusters.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based semiconductor maker PMC used IDF to introduce its new Adaptec Series 8 12-Gb/s SAS RAID adapter family for high-performance server and networked storage. The new RAID adapters work with PMC's I/O protocol controllers, RAID-on-Chip (RoC) controllers, SAS expanders, SSD controllers, and software to form a complete 12-Gbit-per-second SAS architecture to meet the performance requirements of new 12-Gbit-per-second SAS SSDs.
The five models in the Adaptec Series 8 provides over 700,000 4k random read RAID I/Os per second, which PMC called a 60-percent improvement over the previous generation. They support PCI Express 3.0.
PMC's Adaptec Series 8 RAID adapters are expected to ship in the fourth quarter.
Renesas Electronics America, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based semiconductor firm, showed several advanced USB solutions at IDF.
The company said it was the first to demonstrate a working power source and power sink based on the USB Power Delivery Specification Rev 1.0, which enables optimized power management for multiple peripherals as well as intelligent and flexible system-level power management.
Renesas also unveiled a new dual-port, low-power USB 3.0 Hub Controller (uPD720211) in a small-form package. The company claims it allows designers to increase their USB 3.0 port count with up to 10 times the transfer rate of previous solutions.
San Francisco-based SwiftStack took part in an Intel demonstration that showed SwiftStack's private cloud storage solution working on a storage node based on Intel's new Atom C2000 "Avoton" processor.
Intel showed SwiftStack private cloud storage software running on an all-in-one 12-drive, 1U storage node, code-named Canyon Run. Intel also used Swift workloads as part of a Rack Scale Architecture demonstration.
SwiftStack private cloud storage is based on the OpenStack Object Storage (code named Swift) in which the proxy services, which route incoming requests to store or read data, and the storage services, which store the actual data, are commonly run on different nodes that are specifically tuned for those workloads.
Wilocity, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based developer of 60GHz multi-gigabit wireless chipsets, and DisplayLink, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of USB graphics technology, together demonstrated WiGig-enabled 4K graphics and video.
In the demo, a Wilocity-powered WiGig-integrated notebook and a WiGig docking station with the latest 4K capable chipset from DisplayLink were connected to a 4K resolution monitor, which features over four times higher resolution than 1080p full HD resolution.
Alameda, Calif.-based Wind River, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel and a developer of embedded and mobile software, released Wind River Open Network Software at IDF. Open Network Software is an open software environment for creating network switches for software-defined networks and infrastructures, with Fujitsu one of its early customers. Open Network Software separates the networking data plane and control plane so companies can begin managing network services through abstraction as virtual services while taking advantage of technologies such as SDN and cloud computing. It provides the tools and resources to create, modify and update network layers' L1, L2+ and L3+ functionality while providing standard interfaces for management and control. Wind River also expanded its Wind River Simics full-system simulator for accelerating software development with support for the latest Intel processors, including the new Intel Atom C2000 "Avoton" and Intel Xeon-EP server platform, as well as support for the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specification.