Intel Developer Forum: Skylake Strategy To Take Center Stage

System builders hope that Intel will fill in the blanks on its Skylake architecture and drive home how design details of the company's newest sixth-generation 14nm processors will boost the PC market during its upcoming developer conference.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company is expected to unveil specifics about Skylake, as well as discuss its efforts with Internet of Things industrial applications, during Intel Developer Forum, which takes place Tuesday-Thursday in San Francisco.

"I expect Intel to talk more about their work with memory, as well as Skylake, and I think there will be more talk around Intel's Internet of Things platforms," said Jim McGregor, founder and principal analyst at Mesa, Ariz.-based Tirias Research.

[Related: First Intel Skylake Business-Class Laptop Availability Revealed]

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McGregor said system builder partners should also look for talk of Intel's Kaby Lake platform, the 14nm derivative of Skylake that will substitute Intel's Cannonlake microarchitecture, as well as the company's aims for its server and networking segments.

However, Skylake is expected to be the star of the show, as system builders look to the new microarchitecture platform, combined with the recent release of Microsoft's operating system Windows 10, to drive upgrades of the 600 million installed base of client PC devices that are 4 years old or older.

Intel has already introduced the first milestones of its Skylake strategy by unveiling its Xeon processor E3-1500M v5 product family, targeted for business-class workstation laptops, which will be available in the fall.

It has also released two high-end processors, the Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K, for PC enthusiasts and gamers.

The PC market has been undergoing a lag period after most users upgraded last year during Windows XP end of life. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich told Wall Street analysts during Intel's first-quarter earnings call in April that the PC market will decline at a mid-single-digit rate for 2015 as customers wait for Windows 10 and Skylake's joint release.

"There's always a little bit of a stall right before a new product like Skylake," he said during the April call. "But when you have a new product like Skylake combined with a new OS like Windows 10, which the majority of devices … will run on, that tends to have people waiting to see what those products are going to be."

Jon Bach, president of Puget Systems, a Kent, Wash.-based Intel system builder partner, said he hopes to learn more about Intel's second-generation Xeon Phi processor, dubbed Knights Landing, as well as Skylake.

"We're hoping to see a bit more about Intel Phi Knights Landing. ... We know a fair bit about the CPU end of things, but I'd like to see some motherboard designs," he said.

"On the consumer side, we hope that Intel will share a bit more about the design and architecture of Skylake," added Bach. "We actually have product and we know how it performs, but Intel hasn't shared much about the design details."