The event will take place in Bellevue, WA, which is Microsoft's neighborhood and the home of a huge software developer community. Plus, AMD told us, the weather is "heavenly" at this time of the year in the Seattle area, which made it an overall better place for this event than Silicon Valley.
Consider it to be AMD's version of a software IDF, even if AMD says that the conference will be all about content and won't have the marketing slant of IDF and there will not be any celebrity appearances, which would mean that AMD will not be competing with Intel over Will.i.am. The purpose of the event is, we were told, to educate developers how to take advantage of AMD's hardware, which would be primarily its APUs. However, AMD also said that it would be releasing some information about its next-gen GPUs and how they can interact with software. The really interesting part of this conference is the fact that AMD sends out announcements highlight one of the big keynote speakers, ARM's Jem Davies. The press release as well as press calls make sure that the fact that ARM will be at this event does not go unnoticed.
We obviously wondered whether AMD would do this just to rub Intel's nose in a partnership with a rival or whether they may be more. You don't get any answers, if you don't ask. So we asked. AMD's John Taylor responded with the general note that AMD is always looking in possible new technologies, while noting that AMD already developed MIPS-based products in the past, which we took as a note that it really does not have to be always x86 for AMD. Taylor stressed, however, that AMD's focus will remain x86.
Could AMD be developing ARM-based designs to compete in tablets, netbooks and smartphones? Absolutely. The official version for the reason of Davies speaking at the event is a focus on open acceleration standards such as OpenCL, but that would be rather thin. We believe that there is much more that will be announced. Imagine ARM-based AMD GPUs and the company's competitive position against Intel: Spicy!
If you plan on attending, you can get a ticket for $300. AMD expects about 500 to 600 developers to sign up.