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Glimpses of the Future from the Intel Developer Forum 90

km790816 writes: "Lots of cool stuff on CNet about the Intel Developer Forum, including the next version of the P4, followed by 3GIO on the desktop (1st version 0.5 gigabytes per second of data-transfer capacity but bumps up to 1, 2, 4 and 8 gigabytes per second with the use of more wires.), and Intel's work to embed wireless in silicon. Quote from the CTO: 'We could get it to the point where radios are built into every product we make, giving every device seamless, roaming connectivity. You will see orders of magnitude of cost (decreases) through integration into silicon.'"
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Glimpses of the Future from the Intel Developer Forum

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  • The big question... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kwishot ( 453761 )
    The big question, though:

    "DDR or RAMBUS or ????"

    Seriously... with Intel recently dumping RAMBUS (see slashdot article a few days ago) what would these new P4s use? I would imagine that this "hyper-threading" along with higher-than-ever clock speeds would make the memory bandwidth even more of an issue than it already is.
    Will they go back to using RAMBUS?
    Will they continue to choke the P4 with DDR?
    Or...do they have something totally different in mind without telling us?

    • So far only server/workstation chipsets support dual DDR channels, but VIA has plans to push this down to the desktop.
      • And RDRAM is good for bandwidth and it clocks well but it has a more latent read time then SDRAM. Intel is moving to a quad pumped 133 FSB (533 MHz) and I don't think they have will be pushing RDRAM in the near future. AMD however does own a RAMBUS licence and may use it for it's Hammer. Rambus is now working on a dual channel 4.2GB "RIMM 4200" module and I don't know what the current max throughput is for the current DDR 333. AMD's 266 FSB will not currently take full advantage of DDR 333 but the addional bandwidth can be used be devices with DMA (direct memory access) as well, the downside is that there is some performance loss having the ram run out of sync with the CPU. AMD hs the capibility to up the FSB but is holding off for marketing reasons.
        There are some fragmented thoughts, anyone have a link to a well written article detailing the current state of the technology?
    • acutally, intel didnt dump rambus, that article was bull... they will incorporate support for next gen Rambus in their next 533 mhz bus chipset...
      • except that the 533Mhz RDRam supporting chipset is just a speed bumped i850, even down to the name of i850E

        After that, there is NO rdram supporting chipset on Intel's roadmap.
        So yes, Intel Have/is/are dumping Rambus.
    • Seriously... with Intel recently dumping RAMBUS (see slashdot article a few days ago)

      Here is something to think about and something that the Slashdot community doesn't commonly consider (or so it seems)... Intel did not recently dump RAMBUS. Intel only recently announced its intentions toward RAMBUS. I work with Intel and the their largest customers closely. It was decided a long time ago that Intel was going with DDR, they just hadn't made public mention of it. That being the case, all you have to do is look at the test tools currently available for different computer busses. (To stay safe, I'll have to let you find them on your own. The web sites are there but I only know the ones that work with my company and I'm not about to reveal who that is.) Armed with that knowledge you can fairly easily deduce what features Brand Name computers will have 6-9 months down the road. (Now, keep in mind if the answer to your big question is ???? then you might not find out what that ???? until farther down the road.)

      My point being, without divulging more information than I should, is DDR tools are very popular right now. RAMBUS tools are not. That should give you some clue what is down the road.
    • Perhaps if Eastern Germany decides to adopt Linux, they will insist on using DDR memory ;-)
  • by O2n ( 325189 )
    Quote from the CTO: 'We could get it to the point where radios are built into every product we make [...]

    Radio? Gimme sattelite tv, radio is old news... :)
  • AMD (Score:2, Interesting)

    by doubtless ( 267357 )
    It would be really interesting to see how AMD is able to compete with Intel with the 'departure' from the common standard. Of course the new AMD chip ClawHammer, will be able to support current x86 instructions, but it won't really help you much to run it that way.

    Hopefully AMD will really work on a compiler that take advantage of the new chip's strength. Maybe hire those SGI engineers? ;-O

    I just hope we will still have a choice in the processor market a few years from now.
    • Re:AMD (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <wesley@felter.org> on Saturday March 02, 2002 @07:41PM (#3099358) Homepage
      Of course the new AMD chip ClawHammer, will be able to support current x86 instructions, but it won't really help you much to run it that way.

      Sure it will. When the fastest Pentium 4 is 3GHz, the fastest Athlon is "2600+", and the fastest ClawHammer is "3400+", people will happily buy the ClawHammer and run Windows XP in 32-bit mode.

      (Those numbers are made up; I'm too lazy to check the latest leaked roadmaps.)
      • by vukv ( 550649 )
        since you are lazy to check the numbers, let me lay it down for ya... P4 will be 3 GHZ long before Amd goes to "2600+"... Intel demoed P4 4GHZ recently while at the same time AMD demoed
        As to running 32 bit mode, thats just silly... there is no way anyone should/will cash out 3x more money for Hammer (or Intels Itanium for that matter) to run it 32 bit emulation mode that make it slower than AMD Duron
        • Why do you assume that ClawHammer will cost more than Athlon? The roadmaps I've seen show that Athlon will be discontinued soon after ClawHammer is released.

          Also, Hammer is supposed to give the same performance in 32-bit mode as in 64-bit mode.
        • Re:AMD (Score:4, Informative)

          by scd ( 541350 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {pdttocs}> on Saturday March 02, 2002 @11:44PM (#3099973)
          Hammer-based CPU's will not be running 32-bit code in an emulation mode. Hammer is basically another 32-bit native x86 architecture, with some additional 64-bit registers and other 64-bit specific items included, which can be used by a programmer if they wish. It WILL run 32-bit quite well, very much unlike the Itanium.
  • by LL ( 20038 )
    ... if you think the Hitachi mu-chip + RFID raised privacy concerns (see http://www.usethesource.com/articles/01/09/26/1052 39.shtml), guess what Intel Chip ID + WiFi will do for your filters. It's not going to be just the transparent society but downright naked in having lifestyle choices spammed up places where they shouldn't be. Maybe it's not too late to buy real estate in places where it is just to expensive to have blanket net coverage (Canada? Australia?). Is it my imagination or are chip designers serving a self-selected group (BSA, DRM, etc) rather than the consumer nowadays? Either that or all CxOs are branded with the same mental template.

  • Although privacy advocates might disagree, the "seamless, roaming connectivity" mentioned is one of the developments I'm looking forward to most. I can't wait until every device I have can communicate wirelessly over a common protocol to exchange data. You don't have to worry about buying a telephone and have it not working with your phone line... why should I have to struggle getting my PDA and my cell phone to talk to each other to exchange contact data? Or a tablet PC and cable box for TV listings?

    On another note, with gigs per second of speed, imagine beaming TV shows between televisions and even from your TiVo to your PC... I can already see the lawsuits.

  • by LM741N ( 258038 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @07:02PM (#3099254)
    I'm wondering what radio spectrum they are going to use to accomplish this. Its a finite resource. If 3G ever gets going every bit of spectum left except the ISM bands is going to be used up. And I have a hard time imagining that products are going to work in a city where there are 10000 other people sharing the band at the same time. Marketing clashes with reality on this one.
    • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <wesley@felter.org> on Saturday March 02, 2002 @07:31PM (#3099329) Homepage
      The higher the radio density, the lower the power (and thus range) you need. For example, Bluetooth has very short range (30 feet), so a large number of Bluetooth devices can operate in a certain area. We can imagine these future devices might use adaptive transmit power to lower their range to the absolute minimum (e.g. those Bluetooth headsets for cell phones could probably work just fine with a range of 4 feet).
    • What about ultra-wideband technology? Doesn't this solve a lot of the problems you're talking about.
  • by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @07:06PM (#3099262)

    One thing I am waiting for with wireless is some decent security functionality. What with the farce that is 802.11 and the proliferation of 'secure' data within companies I work with, wireless has become one of the major security threats.

    The number of people I have found using RF keyboards/mice on computers in 'secure' areas, and not even believing that these can be snooped (which is quite trivial), then insisting that we have a 802.11 hub for their flashy new laptop, simply because it has that functionality built in.

    I would love to see a standard developed for a plugable security model on top of these transports, so a 'suitable' level of protection can be installed for the situation.
    • A wireless mouse is a good example. Sure it could encrypt its communication with my computer, but how are the keys exchanged? How do I know that my mouse is only talking to my computer? Will this problem be multiplied by 100 when every device has some kind of radio in it?
      • dont worry, SSSCAA will put the encryption in there to stop you using your keyboard to type in the words to any disney cartoon. You will get as far as typing 'mickey mou' or 'cinderel' and suddenly the device will stop working.

        The mouse? Same thing. Try drawing any disney like artwork in the gimp and it'll lock up.
    • I would love to see a standard developed for a plugable security model on top of these transports, so a 'suitable' level of protection can be installed for the situation.

      This exists. It's called IPSec [ietf.org] and there is no reason that it should not be running on all your wireless links. For pete's sake, there's even IPSec implementations for Palm OS and WinCE.

      We don't need a new security protocol, we just need to implement and use the ones we have (IPSec, ssh, ssl) properly. I'd rather see wireless lan cards come out with 3DES, AES, RSA, SHA-1 etc. hardware acceleration (and open documentation) than yet an other wireless "security" protocol that hasn't been peer reviewed properly.

      • As much as I personally favour ssh, scp, ssl, and IPSec..

        Unfortunately wrong, IPSec (which is great when it can be used ) IS OF NO USE ON NON-IP LINKS, or do you think that your radio keyboard uses IP? this is where the growing problem is, with radio, we gain new and uncotrolled public networks, many of which have ZERO security, authentication, etc.

        Secondly, have you ever tried to maintain IPSec on some middle-managers laptop? it's hard enough keeping their virus count down.

        We need protection at a lower level, which is what 802.11 tried (but failed) to provide. With the relative freeness of flash and embeded processors these days, it is ridiculous that they are still producing systems which are not software upgradable, and therefore allowing the chance to fix these problems.

    • I'm sure it can be as secure as it needs to be with another layer of security like a VPN, but as it stands today how secure is bluetooth. Could my laptop start using any printer in range, or sniff anything in the air ect? Could I listen in on the conversation of someone using a bluetooth headset on their mobile phone? If the devices work out of the box, it seems logical...
      • BT has some kind of shared secret thing, but it is limited to the size of pin codes or something.

        I wouldnt bother with listening to phone conversations though; I'd dial up to check my email over their cellphone. Hey, maybe I could have my laptop act as an 802.11 base station and bridge out all wireless over the cellphones of people in BT range on the other antenna.

  • Banias? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by d5w ( 513456 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @07:09PM (#3099269)
    What information, factoids or rumors have been around about Banias (mentioned briefly in the press piece)? A quick search found only the following:
    • It's an ultra-low-power x86 chip line.
    • It's due in 2003.
    • It's not based on the P-4 core, but is a fresh design, possibly related to the P6 core. (Boy, that's a bad pair of abbreviations, but you know what I mean.)
    • It probably has a completely redesigned instruction decoder; I found some mention of combining instructions into common bundles.
    • It's capable of turning off unused portions of the chip to save power.
    • It's intended for laptops and blades (of course).
    • It's being designed in Israel.
    That's a slim set of factoids; anyone have any more? Or any corrections?
    • Re:Banias? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      * It's not based on the P-4 core, but is a fresh design, possibly related to the P6 core

      This is the only blaring inacurracy. It is still related to the P4 core as it looks very much like a Northwood processor. I'd like to go into more detail, but I'll leave it at that.
    • "It's capable of turning off unused portions of the chip to save power."

      Intel chips have have had HALT since the P54C (90/100Mhz Pentium) ?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...but when can we turn the damn pc on INSTANTLY? like a calculator or a palm!
  • I think that it will be hard to get devices without this universal locatability soon.

    while this is good for people who want to get their sports scores at 3 am while careening down the highway, it's not good for people who wish to place a private call without some agency knowing what house they are placing it from.

    Your extramarital affair, your whistle-blowing telephone call, your obfuscation of whereaboutsa from your parents, etc. could all be negatively impacted by the predominance of radio-implanted devices. That's fine, just allow the option of devices that still allow privacy.

  • Apropos yesterday's thread on "the price of doing business" http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/03/01/181520 0&mode=thread&tid=98, the mentioned CNET link http://news.com.com/2100-1001-848115.html that goes into how Intel wants to embed wireless communications capabilities in silicon gives another clue as to how "the price of doing business" will lead to more hiring offshore. Here's a quote from the CNET story: "Increasingly, an incremental amount of the company's research projects will migrate overseas. The company's research grants "are too heavily biased in the U.S. today," Gelsinger said during the interview. "The U.S. graduates about 50 percent of what U.S. industry needs." Foreign engineers also need jobs. When the company opened offices in Nizhny-Novgorod, Russia, it received approximately 100 applications for every position. "We hired strongly qualified applicants with Ph.D.s for about one-fifth" the cost of their U.S. counterparts, Gelsinger said." This excerpt represents a forward-looking larger trend that will impact technology workers in the US far more than most currently believe. I'm not writing to elicit xenophobia, but to encourage technology workers to think about how this trend - which is unstoppable, and in some ways desireable - will change the landscape of technology innovation, and it's implementation on the domestic front.
  • Prescott? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HuskyDog ( 143220 ) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @07:38PM (#3099349) Homepage
    What does the word Prescott mean to folks in the USA?

    In the UK it means only one thing, and that is John Prescott [number-10.gov.uk] the deputy prime minister (roughly the equivalent of Dick Cheyney). By the admitidly low standard of politicians he is quite a character. He single handedly made the last general election interesting by punching a voter who was stupid enough to throw an egg at him (when choosing your egg target, don't choose one who used to earn spare cash by bare knuckle boxing!).

    I can't decide if the phrase "Prescott PC" would be good for sales or not. I guess it might suggest a machine with a bit of punch!

    • He single handedly made the last general election interesting by punching a voter who was stupid enough to throw an egg at him

      And I thought you folks were supposed to be so civilized over there.

      "Our policemen don't even carry guns!" they say.

      • "Our policemen don't even carry guns!" they say."

        Quite a few of them do actually..

        airport police have taken to carrying MP5's around in recent months!
    • Well I found the background for the codename 'Banias' which ties into the mention that it's being developed in Israel. But I couldn't find a damn thing about the codename 'Prescott'. Anyone? Could it be really referring to the British deputy prime minister?

      http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2085308,00. html [zdnet.co.uk] ...

      Banias, formerly Caesarea Philippi, is the Arabic name for the Hellenistic city of Paneas whose name derives from Pan, the Greek god of herds and shepherds. His cult was observed in a large cave at the foot of Mount Hermon, where a source of the River Jordan emerges.

      Pepperdine University has conducted digs in the area that have unearthed parts of a palace from Herod Agrippa II. Modern-day Banias is located in Israel, where the Intel design team for the new chip is based. The company typically codenames its chips after geographical features.

      • Banias, formerly Caesarea Philippi, is the Arabic name for the Hellenistic city of Paneas whose name derives from Pan, the Greek god of herds and shepherds.
        I misread the last part as "the Geek god of nerds and she-nerds" :-)
  • At least paperback books are portable from room to room. They can't take those away from us, can they? Right?
    • "At least paperback books are portable from room to room. They can't take those away from us, can they? Right?"

      They will print them on 'electronic paper'. The chips in the spines won't turn them on unless the chip in your forhead indicates that you are an authorized reader.
  • Here in Canada, our prime minister throttled a protester simply because he got in the way

    Wow, that's more like it. Perhaps AMD should name their next processor after him!

  • The CNet article mentioned the next version of P4 architecture. However it says nothing about progression of clock speed on the current P4. Does anybody have any information about it. Some sort of release schedule (2.4GHz in ...? 2.6GHz in ..., etc. and so on).
  • Let's not forget the time he subdued an intruder with an inuit statuette...
  • From the 3GIO article: "plugging in 3GIO devices is simpler to use than the PCI card design"

    How much simpler can installation get? You take out the plate, lightly shove the card into the slot and screw it in, then reboot windoze.
    OTOH, there are plenty of users in this world who pay the teenager down the street $20 to install a new NIC or modem. Or, even worse, pay the local FutureShop (insert US equiv. here) $40 + a $50 /hour fee to install said pci card.

    One innovation I would like to see would be a total overhaul of the concept of installing a driver (mainly for Windows, although *nix would be nice too).
    Basically, I envision a ROM chip on every card, containing a copy of the device driver. User A puts card B in slot C, boots Windows, driver D is auto installed from the chip without the user clicking a button.
    This would be especially useful for those situations where Windows PnP loads the wrong driver for the device, or asks the user for a file located 7 directories deep on a floppy.

    Of course, both of the above are of little to no use for the average /. user, but could be a godsend for Joe Newbie.

    • Actually, I was thinking of this today after helping someone install a new video card. why can't HW manufacturers get together for a web site which has a repository for driver versions and locations to dl them from. That way when joe newbie gets a new card and the "new hardware found", he can just select "internet" for "search location" in the wizard. also, another wizard/app would check for updates. Windows update kinda does this for some hardware (I occasionally get notified of a new Nvidia driver, for instance), but it is spotty and windows only. There is no reason the above scenario couldn't work for any os (mac, linux, etc.)
    • Truly, the ROM driver sounds like a good idea, but just isnt. How do you tell what version the ROM code is good for? Is it good for the newest hacked linux kernel, or WinSuperXP ? Or how about Solaris for x86? Putting driver code on die is bad.... You're still going to have conflicts. Or how about Installing a newer driver? How would that work?

      Simply, a quick, no fuss driver install is all that is needed. Ever look at the ATI driver cd discs? The Are soo bloat in Graphics, even since you're probably installing the cd's in 640x480 16 color.
  • here [radio.cbc.ca] is a quick pic of it. Jean Chretien is cool.
  • Okay, the title's a joke. although it did make no provision for DRM. Anyway, the one part that bugs me is the wireless networking. I don't care how good the think it is, it still seems like a Security hole? cavity? cavern? Every hear of war-driving?
  • by Klox ( 29985 )
    I find it amusing that The 3GIO article didn't bother to mention the other competing serial protocols like Infiniband. A few years ago, when Intel's NGIO (yes, to predicessor to 3GIO) and FutureIO merged to become (eventually) Infiniband, the industry all hopped on board, expecting it to becomed the Next Big Thing. But int the last year or so Infiniband has turned into the ugly stepsister. The industry lost intrest in it when Intel quit and started their own protocol (because they couldn't control the spec enough).

    Our company was no different. We were pushing to make Infiniband products just like everyone else, but when we finally had time to start working on one, the party had ended and everyone had gone home. Well, it looks like we should be gearing up for 3GIO soon...
    • Actually, Intel is still pushing IB. They sponsered a multicompany IB demo that is being taken around from show to show (IDF, SNW, NetInterop, etc). They discontinued their 1X products because everyone wanted 4X and other companies started to deliver 4X while all Intel had was plain old 1X. The ironic thing is that they hit the market so early that almost every IB company has some Intel IB equipment, especially HCAs.
      The party isn't over either. A lot of big companies (Dell, IBM, Microsoft, HP, and Sun) still have IB on their mind. My company is enjoying lots of interest in our IB products. 3GIO solves some problems but it doesn't provide for host to host communication, and I/O device sharing. These are two really big plusses for InfiniBand.

Loose bits sink chips.