Intel has quiety killed off the Intel Developers Forum (IDF), the annual dev conference it’s been running for almost 20 years. This is not in and of itself all that significant, but it does signal a shift in how Intel thinks of itself, the developers who rely on Intel products, and those of us in the media who cover it all.
In a post, Intel stated the following:
Intel has evolved its event portfolio and decided to retire the IDF program moving forward. Thank you for nearly 20 great years with the Intel Developer Forum! Intel has a number of resources available on intel.com, including a Resource and Design Center with documentation, software, and tools for designers, engineers, and developers. As always, our customers, partners, and developers should reach out to their Intel representative with questions.
An Intel representative spoke with Tom’s Hardware and pointed to the company’s evolving and growing portfolio of technologies as the reason why it’s changing course with its events. Intel is not longer just chipzilla, even though PC processors are still core to its business. It’s also focused on the data center, autonomous cars, 5G, and--more recently--virtual reality. Simply put, the three-day IDF event has become simultaneously too unwieldy and too unfocused to properly serve its role.
This is a little “inside baseball,” but: For those of us who have sat through epic, bladder-busting IDF keynotes full of quick-hit mentions of numerous products and topics, half of which our respective publications don’t cover, this is likely a welcome change. (We presume the same is true for developers.)
Intel indicated to us that instead of IDF, we’ll be seeing more events, but with each event having a more concentrated focus. The only potential downside is that we may end up having to attend more events, which means more travel, but at least we should all be getting more bang for our buck, as it were.
What that will actually look like is still undecided, from what we gleaned from our conversation with Intel. For example, we expect that those of us who cover the PC enthusiast market will see a more PC-focused event (CPUs, Intel Optane, etc.), but we don’t believe Intel has made any solid plans just yet. We wonder if Intel might lump in its XR initiatives into such an event, or if it might split that off, too. After all, although Intel is now heavily involved in the XR HMD market, its VR focus is largely around things like VR broadcasting and events, as well as new technologies such as volumetric video.
In any case, we expect to learn more over the summer. For now, we politely doff our caps in remembrance of IDF.