The era of integrated computing looms as processor technology advances, taking smaller forms with greater performance and lower power, in line with Moore’s Law.
“The lines between technology categories are blurring as the era of integrated computing takes hold where form factor matters less than the experience delivered when all devices are connected to each other and to the cloud,” said Renee James, Intel Corporation President in her opening keynote address at Computex 2014.
The PC gets smaller, more powerful, more energy efficient
James talked about Intel’s continued commitment to deliver processor platforms for tablets and smartphones across various form factors, price points and operating systems.
Intel currently has 130 tablet designs that are either in the market or will be arriving in the market this year, from global OEMs and ODMs.
Over half a dozen Intel-powered tablets have already been announced at Computex, with OEMs like Acer, ASUS and numerous others spearheading the new generation of devices.
About 35% of Intel Atom processor-based tablet designs feature or will feature Intel communications solutions.
As 4G LTE expands further globally, 4G LTE capabilities in smart devices have become an important element in devices.
James announced that the Category 6 Intel XMM 7260 LTE-Advanced platform is already shipping to customers for interoperability testing. Devices featuring this platform are expected to appear in the coming months.
Foxconn executive Young Liu made a special appearance onstage to reveal over 10 Intel-based tablets that are available now and coming soon. The tablets feature Bay Trail or Clovertrail+ SoCs and include either Intel’s 3G or LTE communications platforms.
SoFIA SoC for entry level mobile devices
Intel also updated progress on SoFIA, its first integrated mobile SoC platform built specifically for entry and value smartphones and tablets. The new platform will come to market in Q4 2014.
James made the first phone call from a SoFIA-powered smartphone live onstage.
Currently in dual-core form, Intel will be bringing the quad-core SoFIA LTE SoC to market in the first half of 2015. Intel announced a strategic agreement with Rockchip last week to accelerate its entry into the market, due in the first half of next year. More on SoFIA soon.
Broadwell is Intel’s next generation Core processor, the most energy-efficient Core processor in Intel’s history. Built on 14nm manufacturing processs, Broadwell, marketed as Intel Core M, is purpose-built for 2-in-1 devices.
Llama Mountain is a 2-in-1 reference design from Intel, featuring a 12.5-inch screen and powered by Intel Core M. The device is just 7.2mm thin with keyboard detached, and weighs just 670g.
Intel Core M will push the boundaries of performance and energy efficiency and will give birth to fan-less, razor thin laptops and mobile device designs.
Not forgetting desktops
While the market has inevitably moved towards more mobile forms, Intel is not ignoring the traditional PC desktop.
Intel later, during the media Q&A revealed that the PC market has seen encouraging growth and has stabilised, despite the many calls that it’s all “doom and gloom.”
James introduced the 4th generation Intel Core i7 and i5 processor “K” SKU, built for top notch performance. It is the first processor from Intel to deliver four cores at up to 4Ghz base frequency. Production shipments are to begin in June this year.
Unleashing the beast within
Intel showcased Devils Canyon, an unlocked 4th generation Intel Core i7 processor that runs 4Ghz on four cores simultaneously, made for enthusiasts and power-hungry users. Later in the evening, an overclocking event featuring Devils Canyon happened at a separate venue. More of this later.
Redefining enterprise I/O performance
It wasn’t all consumer-skewed, as Intel also announced the Intel Solid State Drive Data Center Family for PCIe, a high performance and reliable storage solution for data center I/O needs. The drives will be available in Q3 this year.
Making sense of 3D
The Intel President highlighted advances in Intel RealSense and 3D cameras, supporting applications in growing number of 2-in-1, All-in-One, tablet and other computing devices.
The Intel RealSense SDK 2014 will be made available to developers in Q3 2014.
A live demo featuring RealSense technology with a 3D front-facing camera showcased the imaging solution’s live facial tracking, mapping and rendering capabilities with the ability to track up to 50 points simultaneously.
To show its commitment for the platform, Intel announced a US$1 million Intel RealSense App Challenge 2014 with the ideation phase set to begin in Q3 2014.