Tag: IDF

Intel shows off high optane drive

optaneIntel has used its developer’s forum in San Francisco to show off a new form of storage device which can operate as much as 1,000 times as fast as the flash memory

Dubbed Optane drives, they have been touted as new way to store digital data that can operate as much as 1,000 times  faster than  flash.

Intel sheepishly said that the first Optane drives won’t be that much faster than today’s data storage. The early prototype shown by Intel at its annual developer conference in San Francisco yesterday was seven times as fast as a top-of-the-range flash disk drive. However Intel points out that Optane drives may perform better by the time they hit the market in 2016.

Intel’s Optane drives are based on a technology called 3D Xpoint, developed in collaboration with Micron.

Rob Crooke, a general manager on Intel’s memory project, said that they would improve gaming, supercomputers, and data analysis.

Intel says its technology is affordable enough that Optane drives will be made available next year for uses ranging from large corporate data centres to lightweight laptops.

“We expect to see breakthroughs in personalised medicine and in business analytics to allow companies, cities, and maybe countries to run more efficiently,” Crooke said.

A 3D Xpoint chip instead has a grid formed from metal wires layered over one another; data is stored by using electricity to change the arrangement of atoms inside material trapped at each junction of the grid.

3D Xpoint chips hold onto data even when powered down and while they can’t currently store data as densely, Xpoint grids can be stacked vertically, providing a route to storing more data on one chip.

The basic design is similar to HPs memristors and startups are working on similar technology. But Intel is the only company promising complete hard drives on the market next year. HP recently scaled back its memristor plans .

Flash memory summit 2015 thanks us for the memories

FMS15The tenth annual Flash Memory Summit 2015 opens tomorrow at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. This year’s gathering promises to not only overflow on attendance (up 33% from last year) but also on discovery of Intel/Micron’s recent announcement of 3D XPoint non-volatile memory.

Micron will be holding a special, invitation only, session on the terrace at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara on Wednesday the 12th from 4:00 – 6:00 PM. From what we’ve been able to uncover it appears that the next two weeks are going to be some of the most intense weeks in the company’s history. On Friday the 14th Micron will be convening their Summer Analyst Conference at San Francisco’s St. Francis Hotel beginning at the crisp hour of 8:00 AM. The company had to squeeze in their Summer Analyst Conference before more breaking news fulminating from Intel’s Developer Forum 2015 being held the following week at San Francisco’s Moscone Center West. Intel/Micron plan to further expose the world to a number of new ground breaking developments resulting from the two companies continued technology partnership – Intel Micron Flash Technology (IMFT).

There’s also this persistent rumor that an important tech company has rented the Buena Vista Center for the Performing Arts for a major announcement. Who it is and what they plan to announce has become the sport of speculators. Some are leaning toward Apple while others are laying odds on Microsoft. Will this rumor live up to anything valid? Stay tuned.

3D XPoint (3D Crosspoint Memory)

Intel/Micron’s announcement two weeks ago caused a major stir even though the event has been on Micron’s technology roadmap for the last several years. Both Samsung and SK Hynix were taken aback when they learned that the product will be in production in the fourth quarter of this year. They didn’t expect production of Storage Class Memory (SCM) also known as Persistent Memory (especially if you work the Intel side of the equation) to begin until 2017 at the earliest.

3D XPoint memory is 1,000 times faster, has 1,000 times more endurance than NAND and is 10 times denser than DRAM. It is the first new class of non-volatile memory to enter the market in 25 years. This is upsetting a goodly amount of status quo.

3D XPoint technology, though clearly indicated on Micron’s corporate roadmap, remained a well-kept secret by Intel/Micron. For those that follow such things this was illustrated by the fact that neither company participated in any of the usual technology forums reporting on the subject. Adding to the mystery, researchers associated with IMEC, the foremost semiconductor research center in Europe suddenly shifted investigations over to ReRAM and RRAM beginning in February of this Year. Collectively these events are seen as signatory markers indicating an undisclosed agreement among researchers that the technology path has now become perfectly clear.

Intel/Micron also stated that they have no plan to license the technology. The two companies will build more factories if the demand merits it. The news that they weren’t planning to play the commodity game with their new technology produced some pretty interesting reactions. The Korean producers, who have been literally caught with their pants down, are in a mad scramble to recover. This is not to say a company like Samsung doesn’t have the ability to cover this, it’s just that Intel/Micron may have just gotten lucky – they repeated that the technology concerns a “bulk change of the material” which has the entire research community outside of Intel/Micron spiked in conversation over it. One interesting tidbit is that Micron has been filing patent wrappers referring to the memory element as a “Programmable Conductive RAM”, which confused many as phase-change which it isn’t.

Confused yet? Don’t worry – everybody else is too.

Intel, on their 3D Xpoint page makes the following statements;

“This new class of non-volatile memory is a revolutionary technology that allows for quick access to enormous data sets and enables entirely new applications.”

And

 “For example, retailers may use 3D XPoint technology to more quickly identify fraud detection patterns in financial transactions; healthcare researchers could process and analyze larger data sets in real time, accelerating complex tasks such as genetic analysis and disease tracking”.

Both indicate the new memory is directed toward In-Memory Database applications expanding the memory capacity of Xeon class servers to ~64 Terabytes of accessible memory shared between DDR4 DRAM and 3D XPoint. According to one source “these statements make it clear that Intel’s intentions are solving the “Big Data” problem in the “In-Memory Database server segment with the new technology. All that’s left is for the hardware to roll out along with glowing endorsements from the usual list of suspects”.

TechEye Take

The Intel/Micron 3D XPoint announcement was somewhat rushed indicating that all the right things fell in place just in time to enable the two companies to pre-announce prior to the Flash Memory Summit and the Intel Developer Forum.

That the technology happens to fit nicely into the IMDB solution set is not happenstance – this is the result of a long and arduous planning process coupled with what appears to have been a long period of research and development to obtain a ‘Goldilocks” formulaic – just right to enable the 3D XPoint technology.

Intel captures a solid Tier1 order book for their high margin devices and both companies will be providing XPoint memory enabled DIMMs to fill up those 64 Terabyte servers. This is what their competition is really upset over, the loss of technological face in full view of the customer.

Of course there is much, much more but that’s the top of the headlines list – and the line-up of shows begins this week at the Flash Memory Summit.

Intel announces Bay Trail tablet CPU, part two

[Part one is here]

Kirk Skaugen, senior VP General Manager PC Client Group at Intel took over in the second half of Wednesday’s IDF Keynote presentation. He began talking about the “2 in 1” computing platform. That raises the question: Have Ultrabooks slipped off Intel’s road map just when HP is announcing its HP ZBook 14 Ultra Workstation?

Kirk Skaugen

 

Perhaps they are simply not selling in the volume predicted at a couple past IDFs when Ultrabooks were announced? Skaugen put it this way: “Now we’ve stopped counting [OEM designs], and assumed that the entire world has gone thin”. He added that more than 40 percent of all Core notebooks have been designed with touch. Seventy percent of today’s Ultrabooks are touch-enabled, on the way to 100 percent touch later this year.

Skaugen said by this year’s holidays, the 2-in-1 form factor will be selling in the $999 down to $349 price range. He said that by the year’s end, there will be 60 2-in-1 devices in that future marketplace. Examples he showed were the Sony Duo 13-inch slider, the Dell XP 11, the Sony detachable – which only weighs 780 grams and handles both wired and wireless, and the Dell XP 12, which is a flip screen. An application from CyberLink will be provided on Haswell machines by the end of the year to energise content creation.

Skaugen handed over to Tami Reeler, Microsoft VP who discussed the Windows 8.1 released to developers. There was the usual sales story about how wonderful Windows 8 is.

In August, Windows 8 had the highest demand and sales, which was probably prompted by the back to school movement. She discussed Windows XP and its end of support in April 2014. She also claimed that “three quarters of the corporate users have moved to a modern Windows from Windows XP” – but she didn’t specify whether they were using Windows 7 or Windows 8.x.

Tami Reeler talks Windows 8 with Kirk Skaugen

Intel says that it has the business community handled with fourth generation core CPUs, SST Pro 1500 SSD, location-based security in the enterprise, and its new Pro-WiDI plus password free VPN connections – which got a round of applause from the audience.

Mario Müller, VP of IT Infrastructure at BMW, was next to join Kirk Skaugen on stage. There was some banter about a new BMW for everybody in the audience. Müller said that 55,000 of its 120,000 employees will be getting core i5 computers, but none of the audience will be receiving a BMW, unfortunately.

Mario Müller and Kirk Skaugen discussing new BMW i8 Plug-In Hybrid Sports Car 

Skaugen returned to topic saying that Bay Trail has 140 design wins and it runs all operating systems faster – Android, iOS, Chrome, and Linux. He talked about the Cinnabar benchmark using the fourth generation Broadwell 14 nm CPU. The chips will include AVX 3.2, DDR4 and PCI Express 4.0 support among their improved feature set.

Bay Trail SoCs are aimed at tablets and convertibles with screen sizes priced at $599 or below and will ship in tablets running Windows 8 and Android, ranging down to below $100 in price. When Chinese tablet OEMs start selling $100 price point 7-inch tablets with Bay Trail inside, then Intel will have to be taken very seriously by the ARM and MIPS partners.

Sony Duo slider as a tablet 

The discussions turned towards 3D. By Q2 2014, Intel predicts there will be collaboration over a 3D camera specification that will be implemented into Ultrabooks. We were told that Intel has had high numbers of downloads for its 3D SDK. It has the $100,000,000 Experience  and the Perceptual Computing Fund to work with.

Skaugen showed a 2D/3D camera that fits into the bezel of an Ultrabook. He gave an example of 3D functionality with a video showing children playing with an Ultrabook which had a 3D camera installed. Their expressions were of surprised joy.

3D developers should be glad to know that Project Anarchy is a free 3D game production engine and is ready to be downloaded and used.

Gonzague de Vallois, VP Sales and Marketing for Gameloft, showed off the company’s latest Android 3D auto racing game, referred to as Asphalt 8: Airborne, which takes advantage of Bay Trail and 3D graphics. At $4.99 it’s pretty affordable.

Gameloft’s Asphalt 8, for Android

Sundar Pichai, Senior VP Android Chrome & Apps at Google talked about the just-introduced Haswell CPU Chromebook and its stunning performance, extended battery life, and 3D capabilities. He also presented Doug Fisher from Intel’s Software and Services Group with an official Google Beanie cap – what a new hire at Google wears for their first days. After Pichai left the stage, Fisher said something about ‘that is a give away’.

Sundar Pichai gives Doug Fisher a Google Beanie

Over 1,000 Intel engineers are working on Google Android and Chrome.

Research firm NPD says Chromebooks represent 20-25 percent of the $300-or-less computer segment. Clearly, Intel has embraced Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems as a target market to put a lot of “Intel Inside”. 

Intel announces Bay Trail tablet CPU: Part One

Wednesday’s IDF Keynote started by asking the audience to stand for a moment of silence in remembrance of lives lost on 9-11 in 2001. From there, it was business as usual with product hype and promises of future success.

Intel seems to be spotlighting health. It opened with a feel-good video of Jack Andraka, child prodigy and biology whiz. Andraka is a high school sophomore who won the youth achievement Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in December 2012 for inventing a new method to detect a lethal form of pancreatic cancer.

From there, Intel moved into its theme of “The Internet of Things.” One thing that aroused curiosity was a dull white plastic wristband on every seat. It became an attention-getter later in the programme. In the meantime, everyone got a shot at the podium to talk about their pet project.

Doug Fisher, VP General Manager Software and Services Group, gave a few brief remarks, then introduced Dr. Herman Eul, VP General Manager Mobile and Communications Group. He started off with a video about MTV and Intel getting together to improve the audience’s experience because they do not really understand how wireless works, and what are its limitations.

 
Eul said the goal is to make the mobile platform smarter, the CPU more powerful, and the imaging performance better. He did a brief introduction of “Bay Trail,” the next-generation Atom Z3000 ,  focusing on it being used as a gaming platform. He showed that it is capable of running Windows – which is called heavy legacy software – or running Android OS, Apple OS, Chrome OS, or Linux OS. Bay Trail is a 64-bit processor, built using Intel’s Silvermont 22nm micro-architecture. There will be six variants of the chip available – with dual and quad-core configurations. Clock speeds will range from 1.8GHz to 2.4GHz.

Bay Trail’s Hardware and Software supports:  

  • Windows (32/64-bit) and/or Android and/or Chrome
  • Displays resolutions up to 2500 x 1600 (Retina display)
  • Dual independent displays
  • Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) technology
  • Up to 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM
  • USB 3, HDMI, Displayport, SD card, NFC, 4G, Wi-Fi, GPS
  • X 11, Open GL 3.0 graphics
  • Up to 13MP camera on the rear with Zero shutter lag, burst mode, digital video stabilization, 1080p recording at 60FPS and up to 2MP on the front.

Eul then brought Victoria Molina on stage, a fashion industry consultant and former executive for Ralph Lauren, Levi’s, and the Gap, who explained her virtual shopping experience application. They developed it using the Intel Android SDK in about a week  – but gave no information on the experience level of their programmers.

Molina said the most important part of this application is the fit map, an important factor in making the apparel attractive on the wearer, to attain a “cool” outcome. The application uses an avatar based around the person’s measurements, height and weight, and a facial photograph. The shopper goes out to the web site where they want to shop and chooses the clothing to virtually try on before purchasing. Next, the website pulls up sample clothing from their product lines.

After you build your ensemble of clothing, then you can adjust the clothing so the fit is tight, medium, or loose. After deciding on your look, you go through the “Cat Walk” show-n-tell process. That means the avatar is dressed with each one of the outfits in the size and drape you want and it looks like you are a model on a fashion show runway. Molina said, “This will revolutionise the online shopping experience. Because of the huge “cool factor”.

Next, Intel focused on a Bay Trail small-form-factor tablet running and editing videos. Eul invited Jerry Shen, chief executive of Asus, to introduce its T100, a 2-in-1 Bay Trail notebook with over ten hours of battery life. “We are very excited about the Bay Trail quad-core promise,” Shen said.

Asus is more optimistic than Intel regarding battery longevity. Intel claims Bay Trail tablets could weigh as little 14.1 ounces and offer more than eight hours of battery life when the users are watching high-definition video.

Neil Hand, Dell’s VP of Tablets, showed its  Venue 8-inch, Windows 8.1, Bay Trail tablet that is going to be shipping soon. He said it has 4G LTE.
 
Eul talked briefly about upcoming Merryfield, a 22nm SoC which is build on the Silvermont architecture specifically for smartphones. We were told that Airmont, a 14nm process engineering SoC with all the features of Bay Trail for tablets, is on schedule for Q3 2014 release.

Finally, Eul satisfied our curiosity by showing his audio DJ idea which activated those dull white plastic bracelets that were sitting on each chair. A video was projected onto the giant screens in the auditorium showing the Keynote audience and the wristbands lighting up in synch with Eul’s music.

The presentation took another turn with Kirk Skaugen, Senior VP General Manager PC Client Group at Intel which will be covered in part two.

Warning lights blinking for Intel’s future

There’s no doubt about it, Intel has some of the most impressive technology on the planet. Its processes and its fabs are beyond compare. When Mark Bohr spoke at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) earlier this week, he was confident that the steps to five nanometer technology might be a little uneven, but he was sure that his company could do it. And details both disclosed and undisclosed about Haswell show that the firm has some cool stuff waiting in the wings.

But there is a problem and that is highlighted by Microsoft Surface, a $199 tablet based on a Tegra CPU from Nvidia and able to support Office applications. Other tablets from other manufacturers such as Android based machines and even the Apple iPad underline the difficulties that the chip giant will face in the future. The rumour at IDF this week is that Microsoft is only paying $10 for the CPU.

That is a price that Intel is totally unable to match and this poses many questions over its very future. The behemoth has always relied on high gross margins – far higher than other semiconductor companies can demand.  These high margins are the reason why it is able to fund the fabs used to build the microprocessors – and fabs are getting increasingly expensive as process technology marches on.

And it is difficult to see how Intel will surmount this problem. Its complex network of partners are not going to build tablets that won’t sell. The curious thing is that Chipzilla had the ARM technology several years ago.  At a previous IDF, we even asked the company why it did not just use StrongARM to build a very inexpensive, responsive and low power reference design.  The reasons why they failed to adopt this possibility come down to the old business model – joined like Siamese twins to Microsoft, they essentially owned the market and were able to offer faster CPUs and upgrades to the Windows operating system in tandem.

That model has changed.  Individuals don’t, generally speaking, care what’s under the hood of their computers anymore. They want to be able to read their email, tweet away, post their pictures to Facebook and to browse the web.  As Microsoft produced its Windows and Office upgrades, PCs equipped with older CPUs slowed right down and prompted people to want to upgrade to a shinier machine. Sure, Intel and Microsoft produced extra features, but many of these were unnecessary or unused by the vast majority of people.

You can’t underestimate Intel, ever – but price is a very knotty problem and we’re not sure quite how it can apply the Gordian knot answer to its dilemma. The business model is changing and it’s unclear just how Intel can re-invent itself given the high capital costs it inevitably has.

As for Intel so too for AMD, of course.

Intel shows off wi-fi digital radio

On the last day of the Intel Developer Forum, the company’s chief technology officer, Justin Rattner, chose to demonstrate a device he dubbed the “Moore’s Law Radio”.

We can expect system on chip designs to be integrated in tablets and in smartphones, he said.  Everything in the “Interweb of Fangs” will talk to everything else so that, for example, if you wake up in the morning with a stinking hangover and can’t find your glasses because you are blind as a bat, you will be able to find them a lot easier.

He also described WiGig, which we heard something about earlier this week. This operates in the millimeter wavelength of the radio spectrum and can deliver a pretty impressive five gigabits a second of bandwidth. WiGig is an industry wide endeavour to rationalise conflicting standards.

He also showed off “Spring Meadow”, a very lyrical way of pre-processing internet traffic and managing traffic flow.

On the first day of IDF, Dadi Perlmutter pulled in a Mastercard banker to demonstrate a password replacement that includes “presence monitoring” to lock the device when it’s separated from the individual who owns it. When you pick it up it checks that it’s really you by biometric scanning.

He ended by describing something called Video Aware Wireless Network (VAWN) that is a collaboration between Cisco, Intel, Verizon and various academics with the aim of allowing better video streaming and optimising network performance.

HP reluctant to push Windows 8 for enterprise Ultrabooks

Major PC vendor HP was showing off some snazzy Ultrabooks at the exhibition area of the Intel Development Forum.  One, a high spec machine, that will come out in October and cost approximately $1,200 comes kitted out with Windows 7 and has both backward and forwards compatibility.

A source close to HP said the company had no plans as yet to sell Ultrabooks into the enterprise space and that there were very good reasons for that decision.

She said that there is still a considerable number of enterprise customers that haven’t yet moved from Windows XP to Windows 7, and moving direct from Widows (sic) XP to Windows 8 doesn’t really make commercial sense.

In addition, enterprise customers have concerns about “Metro”, the touch screen enabled component of Windows 8 that can’t be avoided at boot up.  Touch facilities add an extra $100 or so to the cost of a client notebook and businesses are not necessarily in any rush to have their workers using touch on their machines.  Touch is a swipe too far.

While geeks think swiping is de rigeur, there is still plenty of debate about implementing BYOD (bring your own device) into a corporate environment. The more outrageous promises of Haswell also don’t appeal to business buyers and IT departments.  Using gestures in the office might well be misinterpreted, and talking to your machine might identify you as a crazy.

Basically, the source added, cost is king and added features don’t necessarily appeal at all.  An analyst at IDF added that in his opinion Intel should buy a battery company and throw its efforts into improving battery life.  

Intel sees few obstacles to five nanometer chips

Mark Bohr, Intel Senior Fellow of Logic Technology Development, talked to the press here at IDF today and said the company is confident that in the future it can produce transistors at the staggeringly small line width of five nanometers.

He also said that 450 millimetre silicon wafers are still about five years away.

Bohr said that Intel is developing two versions of is technology for 22 nanometres and 14 nanometres. The P1270 is a CPU and P1271 Soc, while the 14 nanometre chips are dubbed the P1272 and the P1273.

It’s been several years since Intel staerted looking at materials and structure to continue scaling in accordance with Moore’s Law. Trigate will be used for a cople more generations, he said.  Transistor performance and leakage are still being looked at to improve transistors.

In the last few generations Intel has improved performance and aims to continue reducing leakage. It’s doing that on several fronts for CPUs that range from mobile to server.  Intel will continue to use trigate for 14 nanometres and 10 nanometres too.  At 22 nm, there’s 20 percent better performance on multithreaded applications and 20 percent lower power.  It is swiftly removing defect densities.

There are three fabs producing the 22nm at Oregon, Arizona and in Israel t the end of this year.

The difference between CPUs and SoCs include high speed for CPUs and low leakages for the SoC. Upper level interconnects are high speed, and density respectively.

The goal is to reduce the cost per transistor allied to larger wafer size.

Intel is investing in new fabs for 14 nanometre fabs at Oregon, Arizona and Ireland, for 300mm wafers. Building is well under way. Plans for future technology include 10nm, seven nm, and five nm after 2015. 14nm technology will come towards the end of next year. Bohr also said he already is confident it has the technology answer to

He said that Intel sees no serious obstacles to Moore’s Law over the next 10 years.

Intel would like to move to 450 millimetre wafers soon but Bohr said that we’re unlikely to see it for four or five years. The reason for that is that all players in the industry need to have equipment and other elements in place before it can go ahead.

Apple iPhone 5 rains on Intel’s IDF parade

So I am in a taxi proceeding in a westerly direction and I notice that the driver’s smartphone is an hour out.  “Hey mate,” I say, your clock is out by an hour. He says time must have changed.  I say yeah. He says: “They usually announce the clocks have changed on the radio.” I say: “That’s a smartphone, it should have automatically changed last Saturday/Sunday. Don’t you have a watch?”  He says: “Nah, I am from Atlanta and I find watches restricting.”  

Well, yeah, so do I but I’d rather relay on analogue rather than digital any day.  Intel, of course, is telling us that everything will be digital real soon now. And, anyway, I like watches and I’m beginning to think what with all these horrendous pictures on cigarette boxes, it’s time to buy myself a nice antique cigarette case.  In the wonderful book, Time changes in the USA, the Oklahoma legislature in 1860 decided to adopt four for the value of Pi, the logic being that nice numbers without fancy decimal points was neater.

I got my press pass changed from “attendee” to “media”.  I should have liked to have kept both – the “attendee” one would let me get into sessions barred to the press but on the other hand without the media badge I wouldn’t have been able to go to the Intel Las Vegas party complete with fake cash, chips and free drinks at the Intercontinental last night.

The crowds are milling just down the road for the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5, with all the major networks complete with giant satellite dishes ready to proclaim to the world what we’ve already known for weeks. Intel is a bit cheesed off by this gig, which is raining on its parade. Still, they don’t need to worry too much – Apple bars journalists who dare to ask awkward questions or in other ways point out deficiencies.  I’ve been barred since the early days of The Register – Apple hates the Awkward Squad.

At the St Regis, just a caber toss away from where the Apple gig is being held, AMD is hosting a microIDF –with multiple rooms devoted to its different business lines.  There we bumped into the CEO of Sea Micro, who turns out to be a Nick Farrell fanboy.  He said that Nick’s Bible piece, Ye Booke of SeaMicro, is so popular that there are eight framed copies of the article on various walls at AMD.

My life as an Intel outcaste continues

It is a supreme irony to me that my life seems so inextricably entwined with the Great Satan of Chips means that it and me are joined at the hips.

I have been occluded by events at Intel, so spent my own dollar to come out here for my Intel holiday, staying at the very pleasant Fairmont Hotel, at a 72 degrees angle to where the official Intel includes are staying – the Hilton. Where you smoke.  There are a few places in San Francisco where you can still smoke. I would recommend a Google Search for a site which covers Smoking Hotels in North America. Intel used to put the includes up at the Marriott which operates a strict no-smoking rule. One British hack, who I will not name, brought along a set of Allan keys last year and took a whole pane out so that he could smoke on the 30th floor….

Now that I have been occluded by the Great Satan, this particular individual Beelzebub will hang around at the edges – an infinitely better place to be than in the thick of thins.

I have already bumped into many of my friends out here, and no doubt will see more of them in times to come over the next few days.

Intel competitors are already doing their level best to irritate the chip giant.  A giant crane from a company with the unlikely name of Condon Johnson is stationed outside the Apple store, where no doubt there will be a frenzy of activity on Wednesday ahead of the launch of yet another iPhone. AMD is holding an event this afternoon at the St Regis, while the includes are being forced to watch a two hour long Intel film. Rumours are doing the rounds that Intel will can the Atom and has given up the ghost on ever getting more tha a handful of telephone wins. Intel never comments on rumours although it is well known for starting loads of them itself.

We are sure that Mr Dadi “my daughter tells me” Perlmutter will keep us riveted to our seats tomorrow morning because he, rather than Inspector Paul Otellini of the Intel yard will be going a key-noting.

Anyway, although Intel has whispered that both TechEye and ChannelBiz are “unimportant” publications, it has made the surpassing error yet again of issuing credit cards for food. They are supposed to be spent on food, but last year several of the British contingent took themselves up to the Apple store and wasted all of the available “luncheon vouchers” as part buy towards Macbooks.  How we laughed, and how Intel frowned.

Anyway the guys are still putting their things up, so everyone is really on the periphery today…. More later.