Otellini: Change IT policy

Today, at Washington, DC's FOSE Conference, Paul Otellini, president and COO of INTEL, CEO effective May 2005, warned that the United States will lose its competitive edge to other industrious countries, if it does not change its information technology infrastructure, move to mobility and implement new policy.

"Technology and competitiveness are inextricably linked," Otellini said. "It is not a given that the U.S. will remain number one in information technology."

He said most growth in the world's Internet userbase has been in Asia, not the U.S. Around the world, with the exception of the United States, technology is often a government mandate, Otellini added.

"It's not that we slowed down. It's that other countries are moving more aggressively to deploy this type of infrastructure," Otellini said.

But while research and development and education will take many years to affect change, right now, the country can push for infrastructure, mobility and policy, he said.

As far as infrastructure, Otellini observed several nationwide trends that need to accelerate, the most fundamental being the shift from single-core processors to many-core processors. "We've taken the approach of parallelism," he said of Intel, which will release the first dual-core products in the second quarter of this year. Otellini also noted the changeover from price for performance to price for capability.

In displaying the need for better security within the government's infrastructure, he orchestrated a short skit. Otellini brought in three Intel employees, who all claimed to be "Mark Parker." Using a facial recognition database, he unmasked the impersonators and identified the real Mr. Parker. Otellini said that this Intel platform can sort through two million records a second for homeland security purposes.

Mobility is on the rise but would spread faster with the government's help. Notebook computers more than doubled from 2001 to 2004, he said. In 2001, Wi-Fi was virtually nonexistant. Now, municipality by municipality, the U.S. needs public-private partnerships for mobility to become pervasive.

Next on the progress sheet: developing long-range WiMax technology. Otellini said this transition will also require government policy. Freeing up spectrum is a barrier to deployment in the U.S., he said.

"You cannot survive as an island in a digital world," Otellini closed.

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