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Intel Shows Off Next-Gen CPU, Tablet with 3D Camera at IDF Keynote

SAN FRANCISCO -- Undeterred by Apple's iPhone launch event taking place at the same time, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and his team s took the stage at the Moscone Center to highlight the company's key innovations and unveil several new products. During a 1.5-hour presentation,  executives demonstrated the company's next-generation Skylake CPU took the wraps off of Dell's Venue 8 7000, the first tablet to use Intel's RealSense 3D camera and showed off several key initiatives, involving chips that enable the Internet of Things, data centers that will help cure Parkinson's and a new testing environment for Android apps.

Before staking the stage, Krzanich appeared in a video where he appeared as a pocket avatar (from Intel's Pocket Avatar chat app) on a smartphone and talked to other smartphone avatars, such as Mr. Bill and a digital Katie Perry to explain how IDF will be different in 2014. "All of us have committed to making IDF all about developers," he said. "We'll keep partnering with you, working together to create amazing new devices and groundbreakin experiences that enrich the lives of people around the globe and it all starts right here, with you."

A digital Katy Perry introduced Kraanich and he walked out to the singet's hit song "Roar." "Who would have thought a year ago, I would be introduced by Katy Perry," he said.

He then talked about Intel's successes in the last year, saying that Intel was the second largest tablet shipper in Q2 of this year. Forty million tablets have shipped in the last year with Intel chips inside. He also boasted about the companies Galileo platform for the Internet of Things. Krzanich also cited a forecast  that Intel chips will be in 50 billion different devices by 2020. 


Krzanich then spoke about weraables, showing off the SMS Audio Biosport earphones tht the company launched with 50 Cent a few weeks ago. "I think this is a great example of working together to bring a product to market, based on technology we introduced at CES."

He then talked about the MICA, a stylish wrist bracelet with 3G, a display and the ability to get alerts that the company introduced with Opening Ceremony at Fashion Week earlier this month. "This is something you want to wear independent of the technology that's in side and when you realize the technology that's in side, you've gotta have one," he said, talking about the product's fashion-forward aesthetic.  

MORE: You Probably Can't Afford Intel's MICA

Krzanich then invited Greg Mckelvey from Fossil on stage to talk about the watch company's partnership with Intel. Mckelvey talked about how the Fossil company has several fashion brands. "Our core customers are trendsetters," he said, emphasizing the company's style credentials.. "In the United States, we created the fashion watch segment," he said, boasting of over 3 billion in annual sales.

He pointed out that Fossil has released smartwatches before, selling a Palm OS based watch and a SPOT watch at different points in the past 10 years. However, neither Mckelvey nor Krzanich shared any specific plans for new Fossil smartwatches.

Edison Board Announced

Kraanich switched gears, announcing the global availability of Edison, a small factor development board, which the company will sell in 65 countries by the end of the year. Holding the dual core chip in his hand, Intel's CEO touted Edison as a new tool for Internet of Things developers, much like the company's existing Galileo board but smaller. The company is targeting a $50 retail price point, he said. The company first showed off Edison at CES 2014, demonstrating a baby monitor based on the 22nm chip, which is about the size of an SD Card.

He then talked about how large companies and local governments are using sensors and big data to track everything from air quality to whether air conditioners need servicing. He said that San Francisco and Dublin are among the cities using smart sensors to detect pollution. He said that Intel is working with two consortiums, the Open Interconnect and Industrial Internet consortium so that Internet of Things products that don't use Intel silicon will still be compatible with each other.

He played a video with Stephen Hawking speaking about how technology can help people with disabilities. "Medicine can't cure me so I rely on technology," he said in the clip. "I'm Intel inside myself." He spoke about Intel's connected wheelchair project, which uses the Galileo board to help wheelchair users monitor their vital signs and get key information on their chairs.  Krzanich cited the wheelchair as a great example of developers taking Intel technology and turning it into something special.

Data Centers and Big Data

Diane Bryant, Senior VP / GM of the Data Center Group, then took the stage to talk about data centers. "Behind every one of these devices, there is a data center," she said, pointing out that devices need the cloud to function. She said that the average smartphone has 26 apps, each of which makes 20 daily transactions with the data center. She said wearables will soon overtake smartphones as the leading consumers of data.

Byrant spoke about the company's partnership with the Michael J. Fox Foundation to use wearables and big data to find a cure for Parkinson's. She said that healthcare data will be at a zettabyte scale by 2030.

She also pointed out that big data is being used in cancer research, citing a partnership with the Broad Institute which improved that research center's genome processing by 720x.  She also said that Inte is working with the Francis Crick Institute to train oncologists so that they can make use of the new genome data in cancer treatment. She then announced that Intel is starting a Genomics Cloud with the Knight Cancer Institute, which will be housed in a giant dome-shaped building. By 2020, she said, doctors will be able to sequence the genome of a patient's cancer and find the right treatment in one day.

Bryant then announced "A-Wear," a wearables-to-analytics program for developers so that they can make better use of the data they collect from wearables.

Core M

Kirk Skaugen, SVP of the PC Client Group, then took the stage. He said that the PC is the "ultimate Darwinian device," evolving over time. He spoke about Intel's commitment to support all the major platforms (Apple, Intel, Chrome, Android, Linux) and in every form factor. "The desktop is alive and well," he said, saying that PC gaming has now overtaken console gaming.

MORE: Intel's New Core M CPU: Everything You Need to Know

Skaugen talked about the Core M processor and how it will power a new generation of 2-in-1 PCs. He said that systems will be available in volume by holiday season. "The Core M processor creates an entire new category of performance tablet." He said that Core M-based systems should appeal to consumers who were reluctant to upgrade their old notebooks, offering double the performance of a 4 year old notebook with much longer battery life. He said a lot of people buying 2-in-1s would have otherwise bought 10-inch tablets.

Skylake: Intel's Next Processor Platform

He then announced Skylake, the code name for the company's next CPU platform and successor to Broadwell, which isn't even out yet. Due in the second half of 2015, Skylake will be based on a 14nm manufacturing process like Broadwell, but will have a new, refined architecture. In his presentation, Krzanich showed  a demo of the 3DMark benchmark running on Skylake (scores were not visible) and teased the audience with a Skylake reference design laptop: a slim, silver-colored 2-in-1 which was running a 4K video. He said the reference design will be available to developers in the first half of 2015.

Meanwhile, Broadwell architecture chips will only start to arrive -- in the Core M line -- later this fall while mainstream notebook and desktop processors wait until 2015. If Skylake really ships in the second half of 2015, it will be making its predecessor obsolete after just a few months on the market.

Skaugen then talked about the company's push into Cat 6 LTE modems and announced that Samsung will use the Intel XMM 7260 modem in upcoming phones that will ship in Asia and Europe. However, he did not say whether any U.S.phones would use the chip.

Wireless Charging, Data Transfer

He spoke about Intel's vision of a future where users no longer need passwords or wires. "We have to eliminate passwords," he said. "Our vision is 'you are your password." He said that users should be able to use their faces to log in, instead of typing in a password. 

Skaugen said that wireless charging is going to be huge in the near future and cited the company's partnership with Rezence, in the Alliance for Wireless Power. "Our goal is to make wireless charging ubiquitous, regardless of the  device." He then called an Intel rep named Craig on stage to demonstrate the company's WiGig and wireless charging technology.

Craig showed how a sample laptop connected to a monitor wirelessly using WiGiG technology to transmit the signal. He also showed how wireless power could penetrate a thick wood desk, charging a tablet, a headset and even a laptop as he placed them over a hotspot on the surface.

New Android Reference Tablet

Doug Fisher, VP for Software and Services, then took the stage to talk about how Intel can help developers can build and deliver apps faster. He then announced the Intel Reference Design for Android, a reference tablet developers can use to properly test their Android applications. He said,that Intel commits to updating the version of Android on the reference tablet within two weeks of any changes to the core operating system.

He then spoke about Intel's Realsense 3D camera and integrated sensor solution (compass, gyroscope, light, pressure). An Intel staffer named Ned then showed how a prototype tablet with the RealSense camera and sensors built in can scan a box in 3D and the help the user find out where it's located.

Fisher talked about Intel's membership in the Open Interconnect Consortium, which should help make devices from different platforms and functions (cars, appliances, etc) work together seamlessly.

Dell Venue 8 7000: First With RealSense 3D

Krzanich then came back on stage and showed off the first production model of a tablet with a RealSense camera inside, which will allow the user to capture 3D images for 3D scanning.  He called Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Computer, up to the stage to introduce and demo the Del Venue 8 7000 series, the first commercially-available tablet with the RealSense camera built-in. Launching in November, the Venue 8 7000, will have an 8.4-inch, 2K display and an edge-to-edge screen in a 6mm-thin chassis. Dell showed how the tablet's camera could be used for all kinds of depth-sensing applications, including measuring furniture to lay out a living room.

The two CEOs talked about how closely Dell and Intel have worked together over the years, building laptops, servers and other x86 devices. "Give your PC a hug," Dell said. "It's ok to love your PC."