Intel pushes itself beyond the chip

Intel CEO Paul Otellini kicked off the company’s annual IDF conference today by announcing that Intel is on track to ship a 22-nanometer processor in 2011.

The company’s first microprocessor designed for a 22nm build already is moving through an Intel fabrication plant, according to Otellini, who gave the first keynote speech at the Intel Developers Forum Monday. He added that 22nm chips are on track to be delivered in 2011.

While Otellini provided a demo of Google TV, a project in which Intel is a partner, and talked about the company’s upcoming new chip architecture, Sandy Bridge, much of his keynote was focused on the company, rather than the technology that comes out of it.

“In previous years I’ve talked about how computing is changing. Today, I’m going to change my focus to how Intel is changing and where we’re going to go,” Otellini said. “At Intel, our vision is to create a continuum… consistency and interoperability between devices.

And much of that change means the world’s biggest chip company is branching out from its core proficiency as a chip maker.

“We are in the process of changing how we develop and deliver solutions, Otellini said. “Ten years ago, we focused on delivering great chips. We still do that, … but we’re trying to deliver a full computing solution stack… This will mean shorter time to market and lower development costs for our customers. We’ll deliver and develop more complete hardware and software solutions than ever in the past.”

Intel showed that it’s branching out from a chip company when it announced lasy month that it would buy security software company McAfee for $7.68 billion and Infineon’s wireless chip unit for $1.4 billion. With these moves, Intel is not only getting into the security business but is also enhancing its ability to make a significant advance in mobile computing .

Shane Rau, an analyst at market research firm IDC, noted in an interview with Computerworld last month that Intel is looking to move beyond the chip. The company, he said, has bigger plans in the works. According to Rau, Intel wants to provide more of the “stack” for mobile devices—the processor, security software and the operating system.

And that’s exactly what Otellini said he’s planning.

He said there are three pillars of computing—energy efficiency, Internet connectivity and security.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could give you a trusted machine that could stop a zero-day attack?” Otellini said. “That’s the fundamental reason we acquired McAfee.”

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