FALL IDF: Deerfield to appear before IDF gets under way

Before Intel Corp. opens its biannual developer conference in two weeks, it will announce Deerfield, the low-power version of its Itanium 2 chip, next Monday, according to a source familiar with the company’s plans.

The Deerfield chip will consume 62 watts at maximum power, almost half as much as the Madison core. It is expected to debut at 1.0GHz with 1.5MB of Level 3 cache.

That announcement will be followed by the Fall Intel Developer Forum (IDF) at which the company will review the progress of its quest to bring silicon into every living room and provide more details of its plans for new server chips and new process technologies.

The conference, scheduled to begin Sept. 16 in San Jose, features a number of technical sessions for hardware developers as well as keynotes and briefings for analysts and the media. Intel executives will detail the company’s progress over the last six months, and shed some light on future projects, said Pat Gelsinger, senior vice-president and chief technology officer at Intel.

Intel’s server group has been busy over the past six months with the launch of Madison, the long-awaited improvement to the Itanium 2 processor core that is expected to help speed that chip’s adoption. With next Monday’s Deerfield announcement, Intel will have a 64-bit chip for blade servers and one to two-way servers.

The following week at IDF, Intel will provide more guidance on Itanium and Xeon chips farther down the roadmap, Gelsinger said.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company is also expected for the first time to speak publicly about a project known as Tanglewood, which is believed to involve the Itanium processor family. Intel has declined to comment on the project.

Intel first discussed its plans for bringing multiple cores to the Itanium 2 processor at last year’s Microprocessor Forum, and will likely expand upon that idea this year, said Kevin Krewell, senior editor of the Microprocessor Report in San Jose.

Also on the server front, Intel will introduce an initiative called Tiano that will eliminate the last remnants of eight-bit and 16-bit DOS legacy code in the BIOS of a system, Gelsinger said.

Louis Burns, vice-president and general manager of the desktop group, will discuss Intel’s work on creating the digital home during his keynote address on the first day of IDF. Burns is expected to build upon the product announcements for digital media adapters at the last IDF to focus on how to connect digital consumer electronics devices to build a home network, Gelsinger said.

Intel will also introduce a reference design for set-top boxes, he said. Intel showed several reference designs for media products at February’s Spring IDF, including digital media adapters and next-generation media PCs.

Anand Chandrasekher, vice-president and co-general manager of the mobile platforms groups, will talk about the next generation of the Pentium M processor, as well as a mobile chipset during his keynote on the second day of the show.

Gelsinger will close the show on Sept. 18 with a look inside future projects underway at Intel Labs, including an update on the company’s work integrating radios into silicon. He will also discuss technologies that Intel is working on to establish seamless roaming for mobile users between Internet connection zones.