Hello, Intel Labs…Yea, we do that

Last Wednesday, June 20th, we held our 5th annual Research @ Intel day . This is a day where we open our doors to the press and analyst communities and share with them the research that is being conducted in our labs throughout the world. One of the most exciting aspects to the day was the global presence from both the media as well as our researchers.

Now, I could use this post to give you stats on the number of press and analysts in attendance (a lot), how many researchers presented (more than 100) and how many projects were on display (more than 50). But I’m not going to do that. In fact, much has been written about the event and I hope you will read what so many journalists have to say about some of the research projects. You can find just a sampling here and here and here.

This was the coming out party for some research projects such as Fair Online Gaming and Pedestrian Navigation. For others, like the radio and antenna research and the 80-core technology, this was an opportunity to show the progress the research teams have made – even beyond what was presented at our recent Spring IDF in Beijing.

What I found most interesting was the amount of research that one might consider outside the traditional core areas for Intel. There were plenty of demos on energy efficiency for portable devices through massive data centers. Lots of demos were using some combination of accelerometers, compasses, microphones and sensors, primarily in ultra mobile devices to tell you and others how and what you are doing. In a group you can loosely call security, there were several demos that helped to create a more secure environment both on and offline by detecting cheaters, rootkits and positively identifying individuals. And finally, though not exhaustively, there were a number of software applications that may or may not someday make it into a processor.

So are these areas outside the core expertise for Intel? Intel has always focused on delivering platform and technology advancements that become essential to the way we work and live. It is safe to argue that this has traditionally been through raw CPU power which was exactly what people were looking for. However, as raw power has advanced beyond the needs of many individual users, they begin looking for other areas of advancement. Centrino is a great example of delivering a platform that addresses a growing need for more and more individuals.

So even though these are research projects and their final instantiation may look nothing like they do today, if they help companies and individuals achieve a more effective computing experience, then, yes, they are right up Intel’s alley.

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