Intel Corporation briefed on its research, software solutions and Intel Capital at Intel Developer Forum, held from 18th to 20th September 2007. Below are summaries of each presentation and the major news disclosed during the day:
Recent breakthroughs in silicon photonics:
Mario Pannicia, Intel Fellow, Director Photonics technology lab presented the silicon photonics vision, discussed Intel’s recent breakthrough on silicon laser modulator that can encode data at 40Gbps, and described new advances in silicon photo-detectors for fast and ultra-sensitive optical receivers.
Pannicia presented Intel’s latest breakthrough on silicon and germanium based photo-detector that can detect laser light signals at speeds of over 40 billion bits per second.
Helping software developers programming for multi-core:
James Reinders, Director of sales and marketing, technical evangelist, software development products, spoke on the state of parallel programming and what Intel is doing to help software developers prepare for this new world of software development.
Reinders reviewed current challenges, Intel products to help software developers and gave an update on Intel Threading Building Blocks.
Reinders also launched whatif.intel.com, a vehicle for software developers to experience and help shape the future of software. whatif.intel.com offers the opportunity to discuss and offer feedback on promising software technology from Intel, interact with Intel researchers, product designers and software professionals and get easy and free access to the Intel STM compiler, a mixed mode debugger and a new performance tuning tool.
Reinders disclosed the immediate availability of a prototype version of Intel’s widely used compiler, which implements Transactional Memory (TM) as an extension to the C and C++ languages. The availability of such a prototype compiler allows unprecedented exploration by C / C++ software developers of a promising technique to make programming for multi-core easier.
Reinders shared the news from Autodesk that its latest version of the Academy Award-winning Autodesk Maya product used Intel Threading Building Blocks to realize 7X gains on a dual quad-core machine. This version of Maya started to ship in August. Reinders also reported that contributors have helped additional ports be available for TBB, in addition to the significant number of users which the project has attracted.
Reinders said two additional full courses have been added this month to professionals through training centres. Making material available to professors allowed the program to also reach 7,000 undergraduates in 40 universities in 2006 and this year will exceed 25,000 students in well over 300 universities (280 by this month, an estimated 400 by the end of the year).
Tera-scale software research: Programming 10s-100s of cores
Jerry Bautista, Co-Director of Intel Tera-scale computing research, explained how Intel researchers are working to translate and extend supercomputing expertise into future mainstream platforms by enhancing architectures, language extensions and software stacks, and developing new tools and techniques. Bautista detailed three research projects promising to help make programming easier for data parallel applications, integrated accelerator cores and shared memory management.
Investing for global impact:
Arvind Sodhani, President Intel Capital, presented Intel Capital’s global investment strategy, including its technology and geographic focus areas, while offering insight on international investment trends. He discussed Intel Capital’s recent investment data and examples of company-building activities.
Lisa Lambert, Managing Director of the Software and Solutions Group, discussed Intel Capital’s strategy and recent investments in the software space including innovative Web 2.0 portfolio companies.
Intel Capital and MCI recently invested in Bulgarian WiMAX operator Nexcom, an alternative telecommunications operator which is currently constructing a nationwide WiMAX network.
Intel Capital also invested in Nascentric, an Electronic Design Automation (EDA) company focused on providing innovative Fast-SPICE simulation and analysis tools.
Extending energy efficiency from silicon to the platform and beyond:
Raj Hazra, Director System’s technology lab, reviewed the issues around power delivery and power management across different computing platforms. He explored what Intel researchers are doing to improve power delivery and management on Intel platforms and beyond as well as Intel’s role in driving industry initiatives to improve energy efficiency.