Chip giant touts wireless nets

NEXT BIG THING: Intel's Anand Chandrasekher sees high-performance mobility as a major technology trend.

This week at the FOSE trade show in Washington, Intel's next CEO Paul Otellini will deliver one of the conference's keynote addresses. Otellini takes over next month for current CEO Craig Barrett.

GCN swapped e-mail with Intel's vice president of sales and marketing, Anand Chandrasekher, to find out where the company sees IT heading. Chandrasekher was Barrett's technical assistant in the late 1990s. He subsequently ran the company's architecture and mobile platforms groups.

GCN: What technologies do you expect to be hot in the next few years?

CHANDRASEKHER: High-performance mobility'being able to compute and communicate together anytime, anywhere'is very important. Wireless technologies and mobile-aware applications are critical elements of this trend. Improving security and manageability are also top concerns. Voice over IP, television over IP'IP in general is a trend.

Future wireless technologies will continue to have a major impact. Entire cities and governments are looking to unwire. ... One area that has been slower to take off is video and voice recognition. As we build more powerful systems, computers and communication devices continue to converge, and broadband becomes more prevalent, we will see these areas become more mainstream, too.

GCN: What do you see ahead for WiMax?

CHANDRASEKHER: We believe WiMax will be an 'inflection point' in the 2006-2008 time frame, similar to what happened with WiFi over the past few years. ... Only three percent of the world's population has broadband access of any kind. Intel is laser-focused on WiMax, from our work with the WiMax Forum; to our creation of a standards-based 802.16 system-on-a-chip solution, codenamed Rosedale; to the integration of WiMax capability in the Intel Centrino mobile technology platform. Its multimile reach and high bandwidth capabilities will help lead to all kinds of new innovations and wireless services.

GCN: Where does Intel stand on the debate between municipalities that want to run metro wireless networks and the telecom companies that say they shouldn't?

CHANDRASEKHER: We believe that ongoing broadband development helps address the digital divide and underpins IT-based economies. As municipalities consider deploying broadband, we think a partnership between public-private entities works and makes sense.

GCN: Tell us why government IT readers should care about Intel's plans to add virtualization and security functions to its processor platforms.

CHANDRASEKHER: I'll add manageability to this question as well. By and large, any time you speak to a government IT entity and ask them if they desire greater security, reliability, manageability at lower overall costs, the answer is a plain and simple 'yes.' So in speaking with IT managers and using the transistors Moore's Law is providing us, we are building these features into our silicon. And an advantage we offer is looking at this at the platform level as we build our own chip sets, wireless chips and networking cards and validate them together.

GCN: Can you talk about your road map for introducing dual-core versions of Itanium, Pentium, Centrino and Xeon?

CHANDRASEKHER: We have more than 15 multicore projects under way inside Intel that span all market segments and continue the legacy that hyperthreading established in 2002. By the end of 2006, we anticipate that 70 percent of our servers and 85 percent of our desktop and notebook processors we ship to be dual-core. And many of these will be produced on larger 300-millimeter wafers and smaller 65-nanometer technology.

We will introduce two dual-core products for the desktop by the end of June and will begin shipping mobile and Itanium dual-core systems in the second half of this year. We will also have development systems of our Xeon family out later this year, too.

GCN: What technology trends do you expect to see specifically in government IT?

CHANDRASEKHER: As mentioned earlier, we see growing government interest in WiMax deployment. We also see solid momentum in deploying wireless mobile PCs.

Businesses and citizens increasingly expect to find services quickly and easily.

E-government initiatives are accelerating, such as online tax reporting and basic government services, but still have a long way to go.

This transformation to e-government will enhance cost efficiencies and provide convenience for government agencies and citizens alike.

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