New Intel chief touts technology advances

New Intel chief touts technology advances

"Moore's Law is absolutely alive and well," says Paul Otellini, incoming CEO of Intel Corp., referring to the 40-year-old premise that processing power doubles every 18 months.

Otellini kicked off this year's FOSE trade show in Washington by addressing critics who have said Moore's Law has hit a wall. He said Intel's dual-core Itanium 2 server processor, due out this year, will have 1.7 billion transistors, making it the company's first billion-transistor part and proving Moore's Law still has legs.

In fact, Otellini said in his keynote address, Intel has a road map for four generations of processor platforms, which will eventually take the company to a 15-nanometer manufacturing process. Nanometers describe the average size of features on a chip. Today's processors largely use 90-nanometer technology, while Intel plans to introduce 65-nanometer-based chips this year.

Otellini oversaw a demonstration of a dual-core processor system with two new Intel technologies: platform-level virtualization and active management. Instead of bringing down the system to administer a patch, Otellini showed how a network manager could take over a partition of a client machine and push security patches while the end user continued working in a virtual machine on the client PC.

He said Intel plans to introduce system-level input/output acceleration for data centers that could speed up data delivery to applications by as much as 30 percent.

Intel also believes the wide-area wireless networking technology WiMax will help governments improve broadband access for citizens and enhance agencies' ability to work anywhere. Otellini said there are currently more than 100 cities worldwide piloting WiMax networks. In a Georgia city he declined to name, Otellini said the local government was able to cover 200 square miles with wireless connectivity for about $20,000.

Although he wouldn't take a stand on the debate in cities such as Philadelphia that want to provide wireless broadband against the wishes of the telecommunications industry, Otellini said a public-private partnership is necessary if the United States is to keep up with the rest of the world in broadband deployment.

"We ought to as a nation have a policy'to make sure the infrastructure for new technology happens," he said.

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