Intel Developer Forum: Sessions Preview

By Loyd Case  |  Posted 2004-02-13 Print this article Print

Intel's technical sessions always reveal details about the company's plans and its vision of the direction the industry will be taking in the coming year.

The Intel Developer Forum conference coming to San Francisco on Tuesday is unlike many other industry events and shows. For one thing, it offers substantial "real meat," in the form of specialized sessions that go deep into particular areas of technical interest. These sessions range from in-depth looks at new logicboard form factors to networking innovations to anthropological studies of user communities. Next weeks IDF is no exception.
Here are a few session topics that might be of interest.
Ultrawideband Technical Update Ultrawideband networking is becoming one of the hottest topics in home and small business networking. Issues revolving around various competing IEEE 802.15 proposals have generated controversy, both technical and legal. In fact, the controversy was the likely impetus behind Texas Instruments decision to offer royalty-free licenses to its UWB intellectual property. This session will be conducted by Rafael Kolic, Stephen Wood, and V. Srinivasa Somayazulu, all of Intel. Note that Intel, along with TI, is backing the majority proposal, which is a multiband implementation. It will be interesting to see Intels spin on the alternative, a Motorola-backed, single band proposal. Extensible Firmware Interface EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) is shaping up as the replacement for the aging system BIOS interface. EFI is primarily an Intel initiative, but is being backed by Microsoft for future operating system support. Intel has several EFI sessions on the agenda, but the most interesting one is likely to be the overview meeting, where Intel will discuss the EFI roadmap and show sample systems. EFI has already been implemented at the server level, but is slated for implementation in desktop and mobile PCs. PCI Express PCI Express is looming on the industrys event horizon. With motherboards and add-in products slated to ship this summer, Intel is focusing a lot of attention on PCI Express at this years conference. Sessions include overviews of PCI Express, benefits of increased bandwidth for graphics and video, sessions by nVidia and ATI on PCI Express and 3D graphics, and even a discussion of PCI Express in servers. To read the full story, including news on Azalia audio, Bigwater form factor and other technologies, click here.
Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.

In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.

Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.

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