Intel has scrapped the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), its annual show, and its flagship IDF program. In a statement on the IDF forum, the company said it has overhauled its event portfolio and decided to close the program.
How this affects developers
While the news that IDF was scrapped in China was already known, there was suspense about whether the event would be held in the U.S. However, this latest announcement has cleared all doubt.
In an announcement posted on the IDF website, the chip maker thanked developers and participants, stating that there are a lot of resources available on Intel.com, including a resource and design center with documentation and a tool for designers, developers and engineers. The note also welcomes questions from customers, developers and partners.
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For nearly two decades, all of Intel’s major products have been announced at IDF, including Skylake and Kaby Lake in the CPU segment, storage products like Optane, and networking fabrics like Omni-Path. Therefore, discontinuing IDF suggests that as of now, the chip maker does not have any venue or event where it can announce new products and provide updates on them to investors and the general public. But how developers who were keen to participate in the show will be affected remains to be seen.
Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at ASI (a Fremont-based Intel system builder), stated that shutting down the event is not completely surprising, considering the major changes the company has been going through, according to CRN.
“Using IDF, which had a set yearly time schedule for big product announcements, seems challenging as most new technologies like Kaby Lake and Optane were already well known long before IDF,” Tibbils said.
Why is Intel scrapping IDF?
The chip maker told Anandtech that it is focusing on things such as self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), which are all far beyond PCs and servers. All these areas cannot fit into one event, and that is why Intel is looking to hold several smaller and more customized events.
Further, Tibbils stated that the purpose of the event was to showcase the technologies that power other devices, create new markets and enhance the user experience. Therefore, the closing of it must be seen in light timing issues related to new technologies and their targeted audiences. For instance, if the company is looking to focus on technology related to the auto industry, it would be better to target that market instead of looking to attract that specific group to the much broader IDF event, notes CRN.
“With Intel technologies being used as well as targeted at so many markets, new and traditional, I think it could be difficult to leverage IDF as a large scale product announcement event,” Tibbils said.
Scrapping the event can be seen yet another indication that the PC market is slowing down and that the trend which started roughly five years ago is still continuing. Intel, however, wants to shrug off its image of a PC chip maker, and the cancellation of IDF could be seen as a step in that direction.