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Intel: 3D chips the next wave

3D graphics processing will be one of the main themes of the Intel Developer Forum kicking off in San Jose, California.

3D graphics will be one of the main themes of the Intel Developer Forum which kicks off tomorrow in San Jose, California.

Following up on last week?s release of the Intel740, the company's first 3D chip, Intel will use the three-day conference to present its case that richer and more complex 3D graphics will increasingly become a more integral part of desktop and notebook functionality. In addition, company engineers will show how these developments will impact other computing technology, such as memory.

The event will feature keynote speeches from CEO Andy Grove, who will speak tomorrow at 9 a.m., Dr. Albert Yu, senior vice president and general manager of the microprocessor products group, and Pat Gelsinger, vice president and general manger of the business platform group.

One of the key conference tracks will occur on Wednesday, when Intel employees and others will present talks on the next generation of the Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP), called AGP 4X. Under AGP, graphics data is carried on a separate, dedicated bus rather than on the system bus. (A bus is a data pathway.) In the end, the system design leads to sharper graphics and faster processing of images. AGP 4X will succeed AGP 2X, which is being used on current high-end desktop systems.

Jim Nucci, AGP marketing manager, business platform group, will open the session with a discussion on the performance improvements that will come with AGP 4X as well as give a preliminary overview of the AGP 2.0 specification, the technical outline for AGP 4X.

David Smith, chief technology officer at Virtus, will follow with a discussion on the future for AGP and 3D graphics in the business market. The company specializes in 3D presentation software for the corporate arena. Smith will outline Virtus?s own product plans for AGP-enabled products. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Associates, a Tiburon, California-based market research firm, will then round out the track with an overview of the 3D market.

Sessions outlining the future for mobile graphics will be presented on Tuesday by Ted Kirkiles, a manager in the mobile hardware products group.

Along with the graphics emphasis, various presentations will be made on the state of server technology. Ahmet Houssein, from server architecture lab at Intel, will discuss design guidelines for high-volume servers based around Intel chips. Other topics include an update on the I2O Initative, an architecture which dedicates a separate processor for data input-output, and an outline for common specifications for server design.

The semiannual conference will take place from February 17 to 19 at the San Jose Convention Center.

Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network.