B&D visits microchip conference, Hot Chips

We headed to Silicon Valley to support our tech clients at Hot Chips. The event is the semiconductor industry’s leading conference on high-performance microprocessors.

Hot Chips is one of the biggest events in the Silicon Valley calendar. It might not get the same press as a Fashion Week or E3, but for people in the know, it’s the conference to pay attention to if you’re interested in the direction the microchip industry is headed in. We flew to this year’s event to support our clients and keep our ears to the ground. Here’s a couple of our stand out moments:

Intel is driving towards “AI Everywhere”

No, it’s not the start of Skynet. At least we hope not! AI Everywhere is Intel’s the company’s response to the fact we’ll soon be totally overwhelmed with data if we don’t incorporate AI to help us deal with it. It detailed its Nervana neural network processors and even dove into some detail on its hybrid chip packaging technology, which is an immensely exciting development. It points to a company that’s aware of the issues we’re going to face in the future and its heartening to see innovative tech being developed to combat them.

Dr Philip Wong’s “What will the next node offer us?” keynote

In the last 50 years we’ve increased the power-performance-area via largely one method: making transistors smaller and smaller. (And smaller!) But what happens when we cross the nanometer threshold? Is shrinking further even possible? Dr Wong’s keynote dives into the most pressing question facing the semi-conductor industry.

You can watch it all here. It’s fascinating.

Hot Wings at Hot Chips

But our favourite moment has to go to something that was slightly outside Hot Chips itself. Intel organised an after-hours party session hosted by Intel heavyweights, Raja Koduri and Jim Keller. In it they discussed the future of computing over drinks and, you guessed it, Hot Wings. Compared to the formal structure of the rest of the event, the chance to unwind with a beer and hear what the industry leaders really think was a real treat.

Plus, they had their own hot sauce. That’s right. Intel has a hot sauce.