Went to an Intel briefing this morning. Haven't been to one for a little while, and was expecting the usual guff about how the company's latest silicon will blast through PhotoShop or 3D games. And there was some of that. But, in a sign of the times, the first foil was about various Intel chips' abilities to handle video downloads from Google's YouTube.com.
By Intel's reckoning, a streaming YouTube vid utilises 80% of a Pentium M's processing power; just 40% of a Pentium 4's; and a crisp 20% or less of a Core 2 Duo.
Maybe the latest processor techs and specs do matter in this broadband age.
Most of the rest was under embargo until May, but as a number of websites noted in the wake of CES, Intel has adopted an aggressive advocacy stance on wireless broadband, and plans chipsets that support both 11n wi-fi and WiMax this calendar year. Intel ANZ technical manager Graham Tucker also confirmed that Intel is assisting Slingshot with its WiMax trials in Whangarei and Hamilton.
There was also a demo of Intel's vPro technology. While not new (check out Juha's November Tech Guy column), vPro still looks impressive in a live demo. Essentially it gives a network administrator greater powers of remote control. Even over a dial-up connection, a vPro-enabled PC can be shut down or rebooted over the internet (and via a web browser interface, if you take that option).
And, because it's firmware rather than OS-based, a network admin can also use vPro to audit PCs on her network, even if all of said PCs are switched off. Useful, say, if you want an after-hours snap shot of which of your computers are Vista capable (the catch is that they all your PCs would have to have the three vPro components: an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, an Intel Q965 Express chipset and an Intel 82566DC Gigabit Ethernet network controller).