Intel's Really Big Tech Fest

A lot of Nehalem, a lot of Atom, and a lot of flash drive talk. Itanium? Not so much.

Intel kicks off its 11th annual Intel Developer Forum conference today, drawing thousands of developers from around the world to the Moscone Center in San Francisco for three days of intense tech talk.

Intel is not known for making big news at its show; it likes to get that news out in advance so that the show can concentrate on deep technological dives. The ultramobile chip Atom, the Core i7 (a.k.a. Nehalem), and Larrabee, its entry in the GPU market, have all been spelled out in detail in recent weeks and months.

"Between Nehalem and Nehalem desktop derivatives coming out next year, and some of the Nehalem server derivatives, and Larrabee and Atom, their plate is pretty full," said Nathan Brookwood, research fellow with Insight64. "The surprises may be if they are willing to talk more about performance."

Of course, it will be a good day for other vendors to make news. IBM, for example, will make some news surrounding its X-Architecture servers at the show and it will be a part of the Tuesday keynote. Everyone from the PCI SIG to BMW (yes, the car maker) will be demonstrating new technologies at the show, all built on Intel.

Intel tends to be an early bird, known for holding events early in the morning, and this show is no exception. The opening keynote, featuring chairman and former CEO Craig Barrett, begins at 8:15 am. CEO Paul Otellini isn't expected at the show since he and Barrett trade off taking the lead spot each year.

The heavy hitters on day one come in the afternoon, when Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of the Digital Enterprise group, and David "Dadi" Perlmutter, executive vice president and general manager of the Mobility group, host their back to back keynotes.

Day two's triple threat of keynotes involves Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility group, Eric Kim, senior vice president and general manager of the Digital Home group, and Renee James, vice president and general manager of the Software and Solutions group.

Day three closes out with CTO Justin Rattner's talk on research and development, and a "fireside chat" style interview hosted by Moira Gunn, host of "Tech Nation" and "“BioTech Nation" on National Public Radio (NPR) with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

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