An announcement the appeared yesterday on the Intel Developer Forum website signals that the event scheduled to take place in San Francisco in August will not take place, nor will there be any future IDFs.
Over the years IDF, originated to support developers using its chipset, had morphed into a mega event at which Intel made major product announcements. Last year's IDF was its second sold out event with a record of over 6,000 attendees.
IDF16 saw a raft of new products, including a self driving car. The ones that caught our attention were the Joule, a hugely powerful IoT device, Project Alloy, Intel's approach to virtual reality without hardware constraints and with added freedom to interact with the real world, and Euclid, a prototype camera incorporating its RealSense technology. For most people the memorable event was CEO Brian Krzanich introducing Intel's self driving car. On 2015 we were impressed by the sight of him controlling an army of spider robots with the tiny Curie device:
For me at least, in 2014 IDF was all about the Edison and this, of course, made sense as it combined a chip with an exciting developer opportunity in all the diverse directions in which Intel is now heading.
Changes to its format were already signalled by a notice posted on the site earlier in the year cancelling the IDF in China.
However until yesterday they was still the expectation that IDF17 would go ahead.
In response to a request for clarification from Anandtech, which first spotted the announcement, Intel explained that the decision to abandon the even is due to the way that Intel has been changing rapidly over the last two-to-three years from a PC-centric company to a data-centric company:
Anandtech's Ian Cutress reports:
With the rise of AI, FPGAs, Optane, IoT, wireless comms, automotive, and the other new areas that Intel is moving into, Intel felt that IDF no longer fills the need when it comes to giving out information. As a result, the decision has been made to find new ways to communicate with the audience (media, developers and companies) and the ecosystem with targeted events. These will be like the recent AI Day or Manufacturing Day, or be connected to partner events, or involve separate geocentric events. So rather than have one big melee on everything, Intel is set to split its message across several different areas in the hope that it accurately digs deep enough into every area.
While cost cutting and internal tensions between the chip-centric and data-centric factions with Intel are undoubtedly among the unvoiced reasons for the decision, Intel does seem to have a problem when it comes to reaching developers. Its preference for communicating with geographical regions rather than than taking advantage of the global scope afforded by the Internet had already been puzzling and seems all the more so by being made explicit.
The Moscone Centre in San Francisco is still booked for an Intel Meeting on August 15th to 17th so perhaps we will discover then how Intel plans to communicate and with which sector of it disparate audience.
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