The new CEO at Intel is making his vision plain at the Intel Developer Forum. As Brian Krzanich sees it, computing segments -- from data centers to mobile devices such as tablets, phones and wearables -- are undergoing game-changing transitions.
Intel plans to be smack dab in the middle of it. Krzanich said Intel plans to leave no segment untapped.
Laying out Intel's vision at the San Francisco conference, Krzanich described how the company is addressing each market segment -- such as accelerating Intel's progress in mobile devices -- with new products over the next year and beyond.
"Innovation and industry transformation are happening more rapidly than ever before, which play to Intel's strengths," he said. "We have the manufacturing technology leadership and architectural tools in place to push further into lower-power regimes. We plan to shape and lead in all areas of computing."
Addressing Pressing Problems
This year's Intel Developer Forum marked the first keynote addresses by Krzanich and Intel President Renee James since assuming their new roles in May. In her presentation, James envisioned a new era in which every device and every object computes, meaning that integrated computing solutions must be smaller, faster, more versatile and produced in higher volume.
"Semiconductor-based technology will continue to address the world's most pressing problems and exciting opportunities, changing how we live our lives, run our cities and care for our health," James said. "Intel has played a pivotal role in every previous technology transition and will continue to enable breakthroughs in the future."
Intel this week will introduce "Bay Trail," Intel's first 22nm System-on-a-Chip (SoC) for mobile devices. "Bay Trail" is based on the company's new low-power, high-performance Silvermont micro-architecture, which will power a range of innovative Android and Windows designs, most notably tablets and 2-in-1 devices.
Krzanich said there was a new and expanding ultra-mobile devices segment that includes smartphones, tablets, 2-in-1 tablets that take on PC functions with add-on keyboards, and other devices beyond traditional mobile computers. He said ultra-mobiles are a more dynamic segment than is often recognized.
As an example of how Intel will continue to use its manufacturing and architectural leadership to push further into lower-power regimes, Krzanich announced the Intel Quark processor family. Intel expects the new lower-power products to extend its reach to growing segments from the industrial "Internet of Things" to wearable computing. It is designed for applications where lower power and size take priority over higher performance.
Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told us Krzanich proved in his keynote that he fully understands Intel -- "both its considerable strengths and most significant challenges -- on a deep level."
"Not surprisingly, Intel is bolstering its key consumer and data center solutions and strategies, but with Quark -- its new platform for embedded solutions -- the company is also staking out new ground," King said. "The way ahead won't always be easy -- especially in the highly mobile markets Intel is targeting -- but Krzanich appears to be the right leader at the right time."
Building Smart Cities
In her comments, James highlighted smart cities and customized healthcare as examples of potential applications for technology that can turn computing theories into life-changing realities.
By 2050, 70 percent of the world's population is expected to live in mega-cities, according to James. Developments in semiconductor technology will further advance machine-to-machine data management in smart cities. Intel is partnering with the cities of Dublin and London to build a reference solution that could revolutionize urban management, providing citizens with better cities and improved municipal services with lower costs.
"It's one thing to install computing power in billions of smart objects," James said. "What we're doing is harder -- making powerful computing solutions that turn data to wisdom and search for answers to the world's most complex problems like cancer care. What we've seen so far is just a glimpse of how Intel technology could be used to help heal, educate, empower and sustain the planet."