IDF officially began today with much anticipation over what Intels CEO Craig Barrett was going to announce at his opening keynote address. The mystery and hype leading up to the keynote was worth the wait as Barrett finally revealed that 64-bit memory extension technology would be made available to Intels workstation and small server-based processor, the Xeon processor. Of course, thats not the main topic of the day, but we thought wed start our update with this piece of interesting news.
While we ponder on that piece of news, what was really discussed this morning was how the use of digital technology today would transform the economy, entertainment and communications space worldwide. Digital technology is not just limited to what we can do with the PC in our everyday lives, but it would become more pervasive as businesses and organizations begin to apply them in other areas such as health care, life sciences, genomics and new forms of computational innovation. One of the examples Barrett gave and shared was how Intels Itanium 2 processors are being used to help scientists, like Stephen Hawking, understand the creation of the universe.
Intel's CEO Craig Barrett making his keynote address earlier today.
But where does all these digital technology come from? Well, you need not be a rocket scientist to answer this, but its really a collection of various technologies integrated into the silicon. In the past IDFs, Intel has discussed and delivered many of these technologies into the marketplace, and today, we have some of these technologies (such as HyperThreading, Centrino, IA-64) already realized in products. Other technologies in the pipeline will come and have already been discussed in the past, such as, LaGrande (secure computing), Vanderpool (virtualization technology) and multiple core technology.
However, as with any technologies that would be introduced in the near future, Barrett shared that they have to be introduced in a controlled fashion. Important components such as the silicon, the designs, operating systems, tools, compilers, performance tools/measurements and applications must exist before any of these technologies could be introduced. Of course, in order that these technologies gain market acceptance, there has to be consumer demand for any of these new technologies. Therefore, an entire ecosystem which consists of these basic components have to be made available at the same time before a new technology can be introduced. Barrett lamented on the early days when a technology is being introduced without regard for how the new technology is integrated into a full solution that is useful for the customer. Certainly things have changed today and introducing a new piece of technology is a lot more complex and complicated especially for a large technology company that is responsible for the many businesses and consumers that rely on their technology in their day-to-day dealings.