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CES Day Three - It Begins

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EE Times' Sylvie Barak and I managed to arrive in time for Intel's special CES pre-screening of their booth. Intel's booth was very much a reflection of their press event yesterday - a gamut of Ultrabooks. Few of their booths showcased their second generation i5 and i7 Core processors. Noticeablely absent, was anything referring to the Intel 22nm Ivy Bridge processor. Intel staff was uneasy discussing yesterday's Ivy Bridge Ultrabook demos. It's odd and rather telling that Intel does not want to promote their upcoming processor, considering the technical innovation that its use of 3D tri-gate technology represents. The reluctancy to reveal anything on their 22nm process makes me wonder if the rumored April release date is achievable.

The media was allowed early into the Intel booth. It was still crowded…

Due to proximity, the Microsoft booth was next on my CES voyage. Nothing too earth-shattering was revealed, except for some hands-on with every handset using the Windows 7 and 7.5 mobile OS and some demos of the upcoming Windows 8 platform. Emphasis was put on the Kinect and I was able to try “Star Wars: Pod Racer” before its March release date. The game was very intuitive on the Kinect platform and frankly, better than the movie it was based on (Episode 1 that is).

I then made my way to the upper level of the South Hall. I had mapped out the booths that would best serve my interests the night before. First on that list was Nokia. Oddly enough, Nokia's booth focused on their Lumia 710 and 800 series handsets. The working demos of the 900 that were available at their press event and the Pepcom show were nowhere to be found.

One of the many booths at Nokia showcasing the Lumia 710

Kodak was next, and I wouldn't be surprised if their booth presence didn't believe a shift in philosophy for the struggling photography icon. Kodak's booth featured printers and printing solutions, rarely a digital camera to be found. With no cameras to be seen from a camera company, Kodak may be shifting their business focus to the growing home printing market.

From there I was off to the Qualcomm booth. Qualcomm, unlike the manufacturers I visited earlier, came to impress. Qualcomm used CES to showcase demo units running their fourth generation Snapdragon processors. These processors, manufactured at TSMC at the 28nm process node, are Qualcomm's entry into the quad-core mobile processor space. Qualcomm had many hands-on demos in place to showcase the Gen 4 Snapdragon's abilities, from image signal processing and audio management down at the core level, to hardcore intensive gaming. Speaking to one of their engineers, their confidence in their product to compete with Nvidia's Tegra 3 is quite clear, in spite of the head start that Nvidia has.

Qualcomm pulling out all the stops for their booth

Speaking of Nvidia, their booth was a shrine to their Tegra 3 processor. Featuring numerous displays utilizing the Asus Transformer Prime, Nvidia is using CES to maximize exposure of the processing power of their quad-core IC. The most interesting exhibit at their booth, however, was a ZTE 7 inch tablet utilizing the Tegra 3. It will be interesting to see if ZTE is showcasing this same tablet at their booth.

A look at the mysterious ZTE tablet

Though I had a chance to peruse practically all the booths in the South Hall, one booth in particular really captured my interest. It's no secret I’ve been a fan of PrimeSense since we tore down the Microsoft Kinect and found the Israeli-developed chipset powering the innovative gesture-based unit. At their booth, I was given a guided tour by VP of Sales and Marketing, Ohad Shvueli, as he took me through PrimeSense's three-pronged strategy to expand the acceptance of PrimeSense 3D sensor technology. First was their e-commerce strategy, demonstrated by a clothing application that let the user select what garments she wanted to wear and preview it on their figure. From there, the user could decide to continue with their purchase or continue browsing. Next was their strategy to build upon their OpenNI software development in the open community. I had a chance to preview their software arena where developers could create applications using PrimeSense motion capture technology and upload it to share with others. Lastly, was a demonstration of the capabilities available in the television domain with PrimeSense. The demo showcased how PrimeSense technology could develop profiles for multiple users of the TV that created unique selections of content based on user patterns. As Mr. Shvueli put it, it makes TV viewing a "personal experience" where opportunities abound for content management and targeted advertising.

Blackberry made an understated appearance at CES, trying to build any momentum after a rough year by introducing the Blackberry 7.1 OS for handsets and 2.0 for tablets

A look at the OLPC XO-3 tablet powered by Marvell’s Armada processor, total cost - $30

Garmin showcased their 2012 catalogue of devices

A look at ViewSonic’s low-cost tablet family

So ends my Day 3 experience and the first day of the CES conference. Tomorrow I take on the Central Hall. Hopefully, I get to see some real advancement in technology. It's all about the leading-edge with me. Don’t forget to follow me at EE Times at CES, as I’m video-blogging from the show floor as well.

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