LAS VEGAS- During his Jan. 7 keynote address at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show here, Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini suggested his company would be throwing its hat into a number of high-profile rings in coming months, including a smartphone based on the company's "Moorestown" infrastructure, an online applications store for netbooks, and even 3D moviemaking.
Before Otellini's speech, as the audience streamed into the keynote hall at the Las Vegas Hilton, they found plastic-bagged 3D glasses waiting for them on each seat. The presence of that black, chunky eyewear seemed to signify that, fad or not, 3D has certainly seized the imagination of many of the companies presenting their latest technology here.
But Otellini saved the visual fireworks-namely, a series of movie clips and home videos rendered in 3D-for the midpoint of his presentation, choosing to start with a broad statement about how computing empowers the individual.
"We're focused on making all computing personal," Otellini said. "Personal computing is evolving in the home, in the devices you carry around with you."
The speech quickly shifted, however, to a discussion about how 3D graphics in games, movies and home entertainment would likely become the next big thing, and how Intel was positioned to take advantage of that trend.
"The good news for us, on the hardware side of the industry, is that creating and managing 3D content demands a ton of computing," Otellini said, citing how a movie like the upcoming "Shrek" sequel, "Shrek Forever After," required some nine times as many compute cycles to render as the first film. "What I find interesting, though, is what starts at the high end trickles down and finds its way into the mainstream, into our homes."
Intel, Otellini added, was providing the computing horsepower for that transition from studios to the home, where Intel-powered machines could power home 3D moviemaking. In order to better access and share content, Intel is also working on technology called Light Peak, which can supposedly transfer data at 10 GB per second. At that rate, an entire Blu-ray film could be downloaded onto a PC in less than 30 seconds.
"Sony and Nokia have announced their support," Otellini said. "You can expect PCs to have this technology about a year from now."
On that same front, Intel also used CES as a platform to introduce the Intel Wireless Display, also known as WiDi, which wirelessly streams video content from a PC to an HD television. Otellini said that WiDi-capable laptops, along with a $100 adapter box to connect to one's television, will be available starting next week at Best Buy.
"I believe the world of entertainment will be driven by Moore's law," Otellini said, referring to the theory that computing power doubles roughly every two years.
The CEO then turned his attention to netbooks, one of the bright spots of a PC manufacturing industry otherwise bogged down by the effects of the recession in 2009.
"Eighteen months ago, we launched Atom," Otellini said, which spawned the category of netbooks. "At CES, we're launching a new version of the Atom microprocessor, with 20 percent lower power than the previous version."