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IDF Fall 2008: Opening Keynote
Author: Gabriel TorresDate: August 19, 2008 - 8:55 AM PST

The opening keynote of this year’s IDF lead by Craig Barrett was really disappointing. Usually the opening keynote summarizes new technologies Intel is developing and what we should expect to see in more details during IDF, but this time Barrett spent his time mostly criticizing US educational and health care systems – I agree 100% with Barrett’s remarks, but honestly I was there to hear about new technology and not to learn that Barrett and I agree on our point of view for American society. He also presented some initiatives like microcredit for underdeveloped countries in Africa that kept me asking myself if I were at the right place.

Only one demo was done – in past IDFs tons of demos are done during the keynote presentation – and this was somewhat interesting. A young researcher from Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Johny Chung Lee, created a USD 50 wireless blackboard by hacking a Nintendo Wii. Adding an inexpensive infrared LED (plus a resistor, switch and battery) to a traditional white board marker, you can make Wii to follow the source of infrared light, thus moving the cursor on the screen according to the movement of the electronic marker. You can see this project (with videos) in details here, including how to make one yourself.

IDF Spring 2008: Opening Keynote
click to enlarge
Figure 1: Johny Chung Lee and Craig Barrett demonstrating the wireless blackboard.

In summary, this year’s keynote presentation was a far cry of what it used to be, and that is the reason why I am posting my personal comments about it in form of a blog entry instead of a full article like in the past.

During these three days of IDF I hope to learn more about the architecture of the forthcoming Nehalem CPU (now called Core i7), the architecture of Atom CPU and Intel’s first media CPU for consumer electronics products. Stay tuned.

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