Intel president highlights convergence strategy

Intel president and chief operating officer (COO) Paul Otellini talked about the future of converged computing and communications as he kicked off the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in California earlier this week.

In his keynote, Otellini highlighted technologies Intel believes will transform the concept of convergence into mainstream reality. Two of these technologies mark new ventures for Intel, Otellini explained.

First is a joint security effort with Microsoft and several other market vendors called LaGrande technology. According to Intel, LaGrande is designed to be a future enhancement to Intel chipsets, processors and platforms that, when used with specific software, will protect systems against software-based attacks. Otellini said the technology will be ready for release within the next two to three years.

Also on the agenda is the ability to have multiple independent operating environments on a single PC. Code-named Vanderpool, the technology is expected to offer increased system reliability and quicker recovery from system crashes.

The other technologies that Otellini said have begun to set the stage for this widespread convergence are hyperthreading and Intel's Centrino mobile technology.

Hyperthreading uses additional registers to overlap two instruction streams to feign higher performance. Centrino is made up of integrated chipsets, which offer low-battery consumption and enable slim device design.

Otellini also gave conference goers a sneak peek of Intel's nanotechnology development, highlighting plans for 65nm products to be released as early as 2005. Expected for 2009 are 32mn and 22nm, which despite the prediction of the end of Moore's Law - the number of transistors on a chip doubles every 18 months and there will eventually be no more room for growth - did not phase Otellini.

"We can't prevent Moore's Law, but we can delay it," he said. "Two years ago at IDF we committed to deliver . . . technologies to enable greater productivity and better experiences for computer users . . . and we've done that."

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