19 Views of IDF16

SAN FRANCISCO – Whether Intel can remain the world’s largest semiconductor company in the wake of the PC tsunami is anyone’s guess. But there’s no doubt the company is trying to move fast on multiple fronts to participate in a richly diverse set of opportunities ahead.

This year’s Intel Develop Forum showed the company racing to get traction with a broad set of new platforms in machine vision, the Internet of Things, FPGAs, machine learning and more. None of them will replace the PC, but some collection of them could someday more than fill that gap.

Analysts’ opinions were mixed. In a research note entitled, “Battleship is turning,” Ross Seymore of Deutsche Bank said he was “impressed by Intel’s commitment to move beyond its PC heritage into a wide array of new markets … this transition will become increasingly apparent in 2017 as PC-related revs fall to ~50% of the company’s mix.

He and others praised the company for an update on its 10nm node that showed “its ability to keep pace with Moore’s law when others have found doing so more difficult.”

Semiconductor analyst Mathew Ramsay of Canaccord Genuity added that Intel’s willingness to embrace ARM cores in its foundry and FPGA offerings a “refreshing relatively new sense of market pragmatism from CEO Brian Krzanich.”

Market watcher Nathan Brookwood of Insight64 was less sanguine noting that the PC was probably was “the most important design win of all time…but it’s not clear IoT will be the same horn of plenty…I think ARM is going to be the long term winner in IoT,” he added.

The three-day event began with a high octane band playing on virtual instruments using armbands powered by Intel Curie IoT modules, including a virtual keyboard played with gloves using its RealSense depth cameras (below). Among the many new platforms Intel is pursuing, RealSense is a clear star candidate.

Next page: A depth camera with breadth

(All Images by EE Times except where noted.)

(All Images by EE Times except where noted.)