The Intel Developer Zone team has returned from last week’s Intel Developer Forum, which was dominated by IoT applications, tiny tablets, stylish wearables, and wireless charging. But as Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said, IDF2014 was all about you – the developer – so here’s our rundown of the announcements that matter to the development community.
Edison now shipping for Internet of Things (IoT) apps
Intel is now shipping its low-cost Edison development platform [PDF], which is powered by the dual-core Intel Atom processor and has Arduino capability and wireless connectivity built in. For more on what Intel is doing in the Internet of Things, Doug Davis, corporate vice president and general manager of the IoT Group, has given his top 10 applications based on Intel Architecture, from rhino tracking and connected wheelchairs to cupcake ATMs. For advice on developing IoT applications, visit the IoT section of the Intel Developer Zone.
The world’s thinnest tablet – with a 3D twist
One of the biggest announcements of the event came with a remarkably small unveiling, when Krzanich revealed the world’s thinnest tablet, the Venue 8 7000. At just 6mm thin and weighing 310g, the Dell tablet is a game-changer not for its size alone, but because it is fitted with the Intel RealSense 3D Camera. Krzanich said, “I’m really looking forward to seeing how developers can come up with applications and usages that we haven’t even thought of yet.”
New reference design for Android
In other tablet news, Doug Fisher, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Software and Services Group, presented the Intel Reference Design Program for Android. This will help manufacturers to lower the cost of tablet manufacture, by providing a pre-qualified bill of materials and a reference design Android software image. Intel will look after OS updates, including bug fixes and security patches. Android developers should look out for new devices based on the program by the end of this year. For advice on developing for Android devices based on Intel technology, visit the Android section of the Intel Developer Zone.
Wearables: ’The time is right’
IDF2014 also saw Intel expanding its work in wearables with strategic partnerships such as those formed with consumer electronics brand SMS Audio and global fashion house Fossil. Fossil’s executive vice president, Greg McKelvey, joked that he had been in wearables for 30 years, before saying that the time is right for the new partnership. “Fashion technology is incredibly difficult to do and impossible to do on your own,” he said.
Kirk Skaugen, the senior vice president and general manager in charge of the PC Client Group at Intel, updated developers on the progress of Intel's 14nm Broadwell processor architecture and offered a sneak preview of what’s to come after Broadwell.
“I’m excited to stand here on stage and say that 14nm is now in volume production,” Skaugen announced, adding that tablets equipped with Intel Core M, using the new 14nm process, will be on sale next month. IDF2014 attendees also learned that Intel’s next-generation processor architecture is code-named “Skylake.”
“It’s our next generation microarchitecture on 14nm, and you should expect a significant increase in performance, in battery life, in power efficiency. I’m excited—I’m kind of ecstatic—on the health of Skylake.” Intel begins production of Skylake chips in the second half of 2015.
Wireless computing is powering up
Intel is working to fundamentally change our everyday computing experience by removing the need for power wires. Craig Raymond of the Intel demo team demonstrated Intel wireless charging boards so slim they can be incorporated into a tablet’s case or attached to the underside of a desk. To demonstrate just how easy the technology is to use, Raymond brought a laptop in and out of charging range, showing the audience how the computer stopped and started charging immediately, without a wire in sight. Check out this Vine to see how simple it is.
• This blog post is written by Softtalkblog, and is sponsored by the Intel Developer Zone, which helps you to develop, market and sell software and apps for prominent platforms and emerging technologies powered by Intel Architecture.
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