At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco this week, the chipmaker painted a bullish future with advances in processing, communication, robots, materials science, and human-computer interfaces. Click on the photo above to see more on Intel's vision of future, including a robot that can sense nearby objects through electromagnetic field changes, a basic video game controlled directly to the brain's electrical signals, and catons, programmable building blocks like computerized atoms that Intel believes will be the building blocks for shape-shifting devices.
SAN FRANCISCO--I hope Intel warned the Luddites and pessimists away at the door, because the chipmaker had a lot of bullish statements Thursday about its belief that computers will become smarter than humans.
At the Intel Developer Forum here, Intel Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner showed off a number of technologies in computing, robotics, and communication that he cited as evidence that Ray Kurzweil's concept of "singularity," when machine intelligence surpasses human intelligence, is impending. Demonstrations spotlighted the wireless transmission of electrical power, dextrous robots with new sensory abilities, a direct interface to the brain, programmable materials that can be used for shape-shifting devices such as resizable cell phones, and silicon photonics that enables chips to communicate with photons rather than electrons.
"We're making steady progress toward Ray Kurtzweil's singularity," Rattner said.
Intel of course remains at its heart a chipmaker, and Rattner began with a brief tour, assisted by Mike Garner, senior technologist for Intel's emerging materials group, of various successors to the current complimentary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process used to make processors. Future ideas that pack ever more computing capacity into a given volume include spintronics, quantum computing, carbon nanotubes.
Long live CMOS And CMOS itself still has some legs, Rattner said, with recent progress shrinking the size of circuitry elements to their current size of 45 nanometers, or billionths of a meter.
"When will silicon run out of gas? Can it fuel this exponential growth for 40 years to come?" Rattner asked. "We got very close to the limit at 45 nanometers. We were able to innovate our way out of what seemed an unsolvable problem...We've got some challenges ahead of us. It looks like 32 nanometers is on track, but you go beyond that and it looks a little bit iffy."
As if Shuttle PCs weren't small enough already.
The small-form-factor PC maker is set to release an even smaller desktop, its X27 mini-desktop with Intel's Atom processor in mid-September, the company told CNET News.
The X27 falls into the Nettop category, a small desktop with Intel's low-power chip. Shuttle says it's so low-power that even when running full speed, the noise level only reaches 23 decibels. Plus, it promises the computer uses just 23 watts of power in idle mode, and 36 watts while in use.
Shuttle says it saves space too, measuring approximately 10 inches … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--Steve Wozniak got his start as a down-to-earth engineer, but the Apple co-founder made the case for keeping your head in the clouds sometimes.
In an on-stage interview with Tech Nation's Moira Gunn here at the Intel Developer Forum, Wozniak talked about a life driven by his passion for the electronics and computing. And passion can be a more important incentive than money, he said.
"The rewards are in your head. The reward is invisible. It's what you like to do," said Wozniak, who designed the Apple I computer and its commercially successful successor, the Apple II, largely during his spare time.
Wozniak was in the right place at the right time, falling into computer design during an era when electronics were growing more powerful but were still simple enough that designs could be done by a smart human being. And he found a small circle of technophiles who shared similar views and ended up building the first personal computers. They, too, were driven by passion.
"We had dreams that computers would improve education and improve communication and help us achieve a lot of tasks. A lot of us in our group understood it," though their vision didn't extend as far as today's broadband-connected Internet. "What we were doing was not (figuring out) how build a computer, it was how you get a computer that fits into the home. Price, looks--a lot of that stuff. It gave us more passion. We used the word 'revolution' all over the place." … Read more
DisplayLink--which makes technology that allows multiple monitors to be connected to one computer through USB--announced this week that it's now optimized its technology for the Intel 4 Series Express Chipset Family for desktops and notebooks.
Previous systems with integrated graphics were only able to connect one additional display. Now via DisplayLink and with these new Intel-specific optimizations, users with PCs based on the Intel 4 Series Express Chipset Family can easily connect to up to four monitors at once without the need to buy additional graphics cards. In addition, users who run four monitors on the Intel chipset … Read more
But with Intel's new low-power and low-cost Atom CPU, the prices for these machines are coming down to almost reasonable levels. And many vendors, realizing that no standard mouse-and-keyboard-based UI is … Read more
Intel has listed new low-power processors for upcoming ultra-portables from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Lenovo, among others.
The chipmaker also listed its first mobile quad-core processor, the QX9300, which runs at 2.53GHz and comes with 12MB of level-2 cache. The processor is priced at $1,038.
The 45-nanometer low-power processors will go into ultra-portable notebooks like the new ThinkPad X301 announced this week, and HP 2530p also rolled out on Monday. The next version of the MacBook Air is also rumored to be using one of these chips.
The SL9400 and SL9300 processors have a thermal envelope of 17 watts, … Read more
Intel has invented a way to double the air flow generated by fans used to cool ultrathin notebook computers.
Demonstrating a prototype of the technology in public for the first time at its developer forum taking place this week in San Francisco, Intel says the upshot will be cooler computers--and it's not referring to style.
"This will have the same power consumption and noise level of current fans," said Bradley Urban, an engineer inside Intel's thermal technology development unit.
As with other engineering advances coming out of its research side, Intel intends to license the proprietary … Read more
Yahoo on Wednesday announced an effort to provide the software underpinnings of network-enabled TV, a move that could transform not only what it means to watch TV but also what it means to advertise on it.
Though the TV experience has been spiced up by voting for American Idol contestants, it generally has retained its famously passive character. Yahoo wants to change this by bringing a version of its Yahoo Widget Engine, a software foundation that can run small applications called widgets, to network-enabled TVs.
This new version, called the Widget Channel, will resemble the version that's available for … Read more
eBay is planning to emphasize fixed-price sales format over its auction model http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/20/technology/20ebay.html?ref=technology… Read more