Intel Has the Floor

Intel now has the floor.

Intel’s Developers Conference (IDF) opens in San Francisco Tuesday. The chip maker is expected to reveal more of its planned move to what it calls its Next Generation Micro Architecture in its mobile (code-name Merom), desktop (Conroe) and server (Woodcrest) product lines later this year.

The IDF comes a week after Intel announced a revenue shortfall for the current quarter and conceded one of the factors was a slight loss of market share to rival AMD.

The conference opens with a keynote Tuesday by the company’s chief technology officer, Justin Rattner. Rattner may well reprise portions of the demo he gave last month in which he showed two quad-core processors running inside Intel’s forthcoming server platform, code-named Bensley.

He also outlined a long-term research program Intel has to develop highly-scalable, energy-efficient computing platforms over the next decade using as many as 10s to 100s of cores.

A trend that started last IDF in August, away from performance specs, will continue at this week’s event at San Francisco’ Moscone Center.

Intel and its rival AMD have been focused on power saving and performance per watt in their latest dual and multi-core processors that are designed to better run multiple applications and share computing tasks.

Mobility will be another key theme at IDF. In a press event Monday, Intel showcased dozens of models of notebooks from different vendors based on its Centrino Duo processors. In one demo, a beta copy of Microsoft’s next generation Vista operating system performed crisply. The Centrino Duo-based Acer Travelmate 4200 notebook had one gigabyte of RAM which an Intel rep said is rapidly becoming standard for Vista systems though Microsoft officially says Vista requires 512k, megabytes minimum.

Intel announced 230 design wins or systems in development for Centrino Duo at its unveiling at the January Consumer Electronics Show. Intel said about half that number are already shipping.

At Monday’s press event, several Intel partners showed products that will be on display at IDF, including updates announced at last summer’s IDF. For example, Cisco showed its business class wireless suite of software which has features optimized for Intel’s Centrino Duo mobile processor such as enhanced VoiP processing.

“We can find the greatest bandwidth on a wireless network even if there’s low signal strength and give a VoIP call priority,” said David Hess, marketing manager for wireless networking at Cisco.

News Around the Web