In a bit of breaking news this morning, it appears that Intel has decided to cancel their Intel Developer Forum tradeshow going forward, including this summer’s expected IDF17.

In an announcement posted on the IDF website, Intel has announced that IDF is no more, and that the entire IDF program is ending.

Intel has evolved its event portfolio and decided to retire the IDF program moving forward. Thank you for nearly 20 great years with the Intel Developer Forum! Intel has a number of resources available on intel.com, including a Resource and Design Center with documentation, software, and tools for designers, engineers, and developers. As always, our customers, partners, and developers should reach out to their Intel representative with questions.

Previously, Intel had stated that there would not be an IDF in China this year. However an IDF was still expected in the US, albeit with a “new format.” Prior to today’s update, Intel’s IDF page stated the following (as can be seen on this cached copy of the page).

We are making changes to the Intel Developer Forum. This fall the event in San Francisco will have a new format and we will not be hosting an event in China. More details to come soon.

Meanwhile the official Moscone Center Calendar had (and still has) Intel reserving Moscone West from August 15th through the 17th.

IDF has been Intel's yearly home to major product announcements. This has spanned from CPU announcements like Skylake and Kaby Lake, to storage products like Optane, to networking fabrics like Omni-Path. So the cancellation of IDF means that Intel no longer has a (currently scheduled) venue to announce new products and update the public and investors on their plans. Though what's more interesting is how this will affect developers (both presenting and attending), who were the heart and soul of the show.

While it seems highly unlikely that Intel is doing away with trade shows and launch events entirely, it’s clear that something is afoot at Intel, and that as a result the traditional IDF is gone. With Intel's product roadmap becoming increasingly elongated and less aligned to a yearly cadence, a yearly tradeshow is obviously a harder event to hold and justify. But what will replace their combination trade show and venue for product announcements remains to be seen.

We’ve reached out to Intel for more information, and will update this story if we hear anything further.

 

Update 13:26 ET (Ian): I just got off the phone with Intel, discussing why IDF is being cancelled. The main reason I was given is that Intel has been changing rapidly over the last two-to-three years, especially as they are changing from a PC-centric company to a data-centric company. With the rise of AI, FPGAs, Optane, IoT, wireless comms, automotive, and the other new areas that Intel is moving into, Intel felt that IDF no longer fills the need when it comes to giving out information. As a result, the decision has been made to find new ways to communicate with the audience (media, developers and companies) and the ecosystem with targeted events. These will be like the recent AI Day or Manufacturing Day, or be connected to partner events, or involve separate geocentric events. So rather than have one big melee on everything, Intel is set to split its message across several different areas in the hope that it accurately digs deep enough into every area. I was told that Intel wants to find a better way to present the experiences in each of the fields, and this is the way to do that.

Personally, I feel the loss of an event like IDF is frustrating. Here was an annual event, usually held around the same time each year, that went deep into how Intel is pushing their portfolio in the PC space. In the last couple of years, the event expanded into IoT and automotive, and attendances kept rising (despite some of the hardware talks being attended by six people - trust me it was a fun talk nonetheless). With Intel deciding to move to a multitude of different events, I can understand the need to focus on specific parts at each event - if you want to deep on AI, hold an AI event; if you want to go deep on cloud computing, hold a Cloud Day. However, this gives Intel more opportunities to have a disconnected message, and not speak as one, especially if a particular event is split based on region. It also makes it harder to plan from our side, because undoubtedly we have to travel to an event at a few weeks notice that might occur the same time as a holiday that was paid for six months ago. IDF ensured regularity - there were keynotes on the important topics, and it was a chance for Intel to lay all the high-end cards on the table (and have everyone there to talk to). As noted, Intel also removed IDF Shenzhen from the event schedule. If Intel now plans to have something like an 'x86 developer conference' and have it held on the same day at different global locations, that only adds to the logistical complexity, and splits the key members of the team giving the talk(s) or answering the questions. Again, I can see Intel's reasoning for wanting to focus given the spectrum of markets it is now moving into, but IDF will be missed.

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  • name99 - Monday, April 17, 2017 - link

    I'm totally sympathetic to your point, and I've been saying for a while what Meteor2 said, that they're now not just being attacked but being HIT on all sides.
    However let's try to be more nuanced.

    First question. Is Intel losing anything valuable here?
    My guess is no. They have substantially less that they need to communicate each year than say, Apple or MS, does, so they don't NEED the equivalent of something like WWDC. They can (and do) provide tech details on the web, and they don't need to walk people each year through anything like new APIs and their uses.
    For communicating with Wall Street types, they will still hold the usual quarterly meetings where they tell analysts they have yuge manufacturing advantages over everyone else and bring out the charts showing that, for one carefully picked technical metric, they're like so totally ahead of TSMC and Samsung.
    And for releasing actual new products, they'll continue with the usual "leaked" road maps a few months in advance, with perhaps a press briefing on the day of the release.

    So from a strictly numbers of point of view, it makes sense. More interesting is the optics. WHY do this? And why at such short notice, rather than something like holding the event this year and giving it a decent burial (something "it's great to see you all here, we've had a great time holding these for so many years, but the world moves on, everyone uses web, no longer necessary to fly in, save carbon, make the planet green, retire to spend more time with family, blah blah, no more IDF starting next year".
    But this scrambling seems to suggest that they really are hurting financially beyond expected levels. Maybe something like every department has been told mandatory 20% cuts for 2H17, and this was Marketing's way of meeting that?
    Reply
  • name99 - Monday, April 17, 2017 - link

    Oh, to add to this. Are WE (ie AnandTech readers) losing anything? Honestly I think not.
    It's been YEARS since what was released by Intel (or anyone else) is actually relevant to what's making the CPU go faster. Knowing that there's a cache of a certain size is not interesting --- we've had caches for twenty years --- what's interesting is the details of things like the cache placement and replacement policies and the prefetch policies. Likewise seeing that there's branch prediction is not interesting, what is interesting is the details.

    And it is those details that have stopped being released. You can draw the block diagram to every one of these CPUs in much the same way, but it's not interesting to know that Sandy Bridge had, I don't, 128(?) physical registers and Kaby Lake has 148(?). The real magic going forward (and has been for a few years) not in things like adding a few more issue window, ROB, and physical register slots, it has been in various techniques that allow you to get much more value out of that pre-existing machinery --- things like early register re-use, or long-term parking to move memory dependent instructions out of the issue queue.
    We're none of us hearing anything about these. Even the more technical fora like Hot Chips keep these details secret. The best you can do is look at patents --- but patents don't mean implemented, and some of these good ideas were suggested so long ago that they are now out of patent --- but are also now technically feasible.

    So point is, what does it matter if Intel has five Coffee Lake sessions at IDF or not? They're not going to say anything actually interesting at any of those sessions anyway...
    Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, April 17, 2017 - link

    A good chunk of IDF did indeed go into the technical details but IDF was the key in putting all these pieces together for a coherent vision. Basically tying all of Intel's products together in a coherent strategy. Unlike financial calls where you can easily say something positive over a phone call, IDF as more show and tell.

    IDF also highlighted what other companies were doing with Intel technology. While not that exciting for an end consumer, I was hoping that IDF this year would have had some updates on their 10 nm process and how their foundry business was doing (ie showing off some neat 3rd party designs from their foundries). Things like silicon photonics are reportedly shipping but I haven't heard much about what is actually using it.

    The thing that stands out to me have been the recent wave of layoffs combined with numerous acquisitions. The death of IDF to me is signalling that Intel doesn't have that clear and coherent vision going forward. They are scrambling to latch on to some growth market as their strongholds shrink. A third of this is technical (process shrinks are HARD), a third of this is economic (too high of gross margin a spur new sales) and one third just bad senior management. I don't think Intel is in any danger of collapsing but there certainly feels like their will be a reckoning.
    Reply
  • SkipPerk - Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - link

    Some workloads seriously benefit from that extra cache, I mean a ton. In addition, the cache differences for VM's running on E5 series makes a huge difference for users. If you compare dual core Sandy Bridge VM experience to the dual core Broadwell VM experience, it really is significantly better and that is due to each VM no longer being starved for cache.In addition, you cannot deny that Intel's graphics for Broadwell and later Kaby Lake are head and shoulders better than anything Intel ever had before. There are advantages, but not for the i7 buying enthusiast with a discrete GPU. Reply
  • valinor89 - Monday, April 17, 2017 - link

    Might want to ammend the LGA3647 article, as it mentions IDF as a possible source of information. Reply
  • Yojimbo - Monday, April 17, 2017 - link

    It'll probably be less convenient for journalists and perhaps it'll be less exciting, but I'm sure Intel will still make sure all the information gets through. Reply
  • prisonerX - Monday, April 17, 2017 - link

    Yes, and here is that all that information: "We got nothing to show" Reply
  • Yojimbo - Monday, April 17, 2017 - link

    Nonsense. They have a lot to show. The information here is just "we won't have IDF any more." Reply
  • prisonerX - Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - link

    You really are delusional. The only reason you'd cancel an event that draws not only paying customers but also heaps of press attention is that the truth of your situation doesn't reflect well on you.

    People already know that Intel is in big trouble. Maybe they didn't know the panic would set in so quickly. Tell yourself whatever makes you feel better.
    Reply
  • SkipPerk - Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - link

    Intel is not in big trouble, unless AMD enters the server market in a big way. Intel could lose half the retail market and it would not be that big of a deal. The only action that would put the fear of God into them would be a competitor for the E5 series. Reply

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