Intel Developer Forum: Sessions Preview

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.

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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.

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