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In late February, a group of tech-savvy bloggers and social media enthusiasts dropped by Intel headquarters to learn more about the world’s leading computer chip maker.

Last year, Intel launched an global ad campaign to highlight the company’s forward-thinking, technophile culture. The campaign, taglined “Sponsors of Tomorrow,” humorously highlights the major achievements of Intel’s engineers. This is one of the TV commercials:

In the spirit of the ad campaign, the company hosted an immersive event to expose “youth rock stars” to their latest breakthroughs and unique corporate culture (the commercials don’t lie).

At the start of the summit, participants faintly associated Intel with computer chips. After a whirlwind tour of Intel, a maze-like complex with odd splashes of color, participants revised their opinions. The connection was clear: Intel = innovation.

Demos of Intel’s R&D projects included forays into clever home-management devices, online services, and mind-boggling video analysis software.

Attendees discovered that Intel works from the “inside,” upgrading data transfer and computer processing power by leaps and bounds, to enable the development of tomorrow’s business and consumer electronics. Intel sets the standard for future markets today.

Left to right: a USB stick, an 80-core processor, and a typical Intel elevator
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Facts:

  • Intel’s has hypnotic, glowing, color-changing walls.
  • 80% of Intel’s processors are for more powerful computers.
  • An emerging market for netbooks are 6-11 years old, who are fighting to use the laptop/desktop at home.
  • Intel is committed to Moore’s Law, which suggests that computing speed doubles roughly every 1.5 years.

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Cool stuffs from Intel:

1. Light Peak, originally USB 4.0, is a high-speed optical cable capable of moving 10 Gb/s–with the potential to scale up to 100 Gb/s. With Light Peak, a single port type could connect peripherals, displays, drives, and more. The cable will be flexible and light (cutting down on wire jungles); and laptops can be made thinner (the VGA port is a fatty). The modules below can transfer 20 Gb/s (each wire is 10 Gb/s), so you could download a Blu-Ray movie in seconds.

2. The fully featured, 13.4″ Dell Adamo XPS is a jawdropper.

3. The Home Energy Management System monitors your appliances, reminds you to avoid peak hours (and water your plants), notifies you of needed repairs, and shows how you can use electricity more wisely. It connects to the Internet and has all sorts of live widgets. Also, it doubles as a clock.

4. I can’t remember what this was called, but it’s an algorithm that can look at real-time video feeds and identify specific parameters. In the pictures below, it’s detecting pedestrians and surrounding motor traffic in a moving vehicle. You need an 8-core processor for this.

The program could also deliver sports highlights (game-winning goals, failed plays, etc) or follow a particular player. With facial recognition software tacked on, you could gather the most epic or tragic scenes in your favorite television drama.

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FTC disclaimer: Intel provided all participants (that’s me) with a free Dell Mini 10 netbook and full accomodations at the Santa Clara Marriott.

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