Intel quickly expanded its developer forum to include many stops across the globe, but after recent cost cutting measures it scaled back the number of IDFs down to just three. The Spring IDF, normally held in San Francisco, has instead moved to Beijing, while Fall IDF will take place in SF as usual.

China is a logical location for an IDF given the focus of technology on its booming population, and this IDF comes at a particularly open time for Intel making it even more likely to be the site of great disclosures.

This Spring IDF follows on the coattails of Intel’s Penryn/Nehalem announcements and while we won’t get nearly as many details out of it, there are definitely important items to come.

Intel’s Justin Rattner spoke briefly about Intel’s plans for producing even lower powered CPUs before the end of the decade; the target being a 10x reduction in power consumption for at least one chip in Intel’s lineup by 2010. Rattner also demonstrated a 2 TFLOP version of Intel’s 80-core Teraflops research chip, most likely running at a higher clock speed to hit the 2 TFLOPs figure.

A trail of Skulls

An unusual announcement came out of IDF today about Intel’s upcoming Skulltrail platform. Skulltrail is effectively a competitor to AMD’s Quad FX platform, it is a dual socket motherboard capable of supporting two quad-core CPUs. Intel lists Skulltrail has having support for “four PCI Express slots”, which we can only assume means four PCIe x16 slots.

Skulltrail won’t make its debut until later this year and Intel isn’t confirming whether or not it uses LGA-775 chips or Xeons. The predecessor to Skulltrail is Intel’s V8 platform, originally demonstrated at CES 2007 in Las Vegas, and unfortunately that platform requires the use of Xeon CPUs. Since it’s effectively a Xeon based workstation platform, you’re stuck with using FB-DIMMs which are hardly desirable from a cost, performance or thermal standpoint when building an enthusiast class PC. We do hope that Skulltrail severs the tie with Xeon/FB-DIMMs but we are quite suspicious of Intel’s lack of full disclosure today at IDF.

The Long Awaited Penryn Update
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  • Roy2001 - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    BTW, I am not fan of any brand. I just buy the best. I switched from P3 to Athlon, now I switched back to Core2.
  • DeepThought86 - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    Wow, this IDF is like deja vu - of AMD's plans that is. Torrenza ripped off, Quad FX ripped off, on-die mem controller ripped off, Fusion ripped off, GPGPU ripped off.

    Even if AMD dies, at least their ideas will live on. Looks like Intel just does a search/replace on AMD's plans and announces it 1-3 years later under a new name.
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link


    Wow, this IDF is like deja vu - of AMD's plans that is. Torrenza ripped off, Quad FX ripped off, on-die mem controller ripped off, Fusion ripped off, GPGPU ripped off.

    Most of them, if not all aren't even AMD's idea. If you are an engineer at a CPU company such as Intel/AMD, they would think of the ideas long time ago. ALL AMD did was bring to market. Oh wait, they only brought two on the market, and one is completely useless(Quad FX). If Barcelona came before Conroe, people would think the architecture enhancements were copied by Intel. But since Conroe came first, people assume AMD copied Intel. Which does sound pretty stupid to assume.
  • DeepThought86 - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    Given your username and your comment, I'd say you switch your brain off when you hear the word Intel so there's no point arguing the facts. Intell...droool...goooood
  • Roy2001 - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    AMD is in real trouble as I can see.
  • Slaimus - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link


    The real question is if Intel will be able to pull off market dominance in the CE market without acquiring an external graphics firm

    Didn't Intel acquire 3DLabs? The 3DLabs Realizm line was pretty impressive in terms of features.
  • Missing Ghost - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    Quote from Wikipedia:
    "3Dlabs was previously a graphics card vendor that developed high-end graphics chip technology and marketed its Wildcat, Oxygen and Permedia computer graphics solutions to design professionals in the CAD and content creation industries. Formerly independent, it became a subsidiary of Creative Labs in 2002, but announced plans to spin in November 2006."
  • Visual - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    considering AMD were talking about their best k10 also having a 40% better performance than intel's best quad (and at the time that was at lower clocks, wasn't it) in some floating point benchmark, this performance preview of the penryn must sound scary to them...

    i wonder if AMD can implement this sse4 thing or their k10 is too far in development already, as it seems to have quite an effect.
  • wooter - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    Tolapai is an SoC designed for embedded markets that essentially combines CPU, north/south bridge, and network processor. No integrated graphics sorry.
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, April 16, 2007 - link

    I would hope that Intel would be smart enough to introduce a new workstation chipset that supports dual CPUs but does not require FB DIMMs for this project. Don't see why they'd need more than 4 DIMM slots on the boards.

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