For Intel, Big Week of Little Chips

Intel (s intc) is all set for the latest edition of its Intel Developer Forum (IDF), a gathering of its partners and developers that constitute the Intel ecosystem. The event starts today in earnest in San Francisco.

The event comes at a time when the world’s largest chip company is facing a harsh reality: PCs, as we know them, are no longer the center of the technology world. They are slowly and finally being pushed aside by a new generation of devices: smartphones, tablets and other media gadgets.

The emergence of always-on wireless networks, the growing popularity of touch as a way to interact with computing devices, and the rise of the mobile cloud (a trend we are exploring at our upcoming conference, Mobilize 2010) has shifted the focus away from what has been Intel’s personal goldmine: the personal computer.

Perhaps that’s why the company will likely launch one of its most crucial new chip architecture, nicknamed Sandy Bridge, and new members of its Atom line of microprocessors this week. Intel is going to showcase how its chips are being used inside non-PC devices, such as smart televisions. It will also be showing off a new generation of tablets powered by the new Atom chips.

Intel’s event is coming at a time when the company is facing renewed competition from the ARM-ecosystem, which includes Qualcomm (s QCOM), Samsung and Texas Instruments (s TXN) amongst others. ARM (S ARMH), introduced a new Cortex-A15 chip architecture last week that will allow chipmakers to build quad-core chips running at 2.5 GHz by being on a power diet. ARM has emerged as the biggest danger for Intel in recent years.

What to expect at IDF 2010:

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