Intel Channel Alliance Summit: The Future Offers Billions Of Connected Devices

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At its Intel Channel Alliance Summit in Portland, Ore., the chip giant outlined its vision for the future of computing technology and the channel.

In a keynote address Tuesday, Michael Ray, North American channel sales manager at Intel, said worldwide computing is expected to expand quickly in the next four years and result in 1 billion new Internet users, 15 billion new connected devices and 1 zettabyte (over 1 trillion gigabytes) of Internet traffic by 2015.

Audience member Hanni Eid, a server product manager at Fountain Valley, Calif.-based Kingston Technology, found the information about increased Internet connectivity useful for his server business.

"The growth of Internet devices is directly correlated to servers, because these systems are all powered by servers in some capacity, so info around that continuum is exactly what I'm looking for from this conference," he said.

Tremendous infrastructure is needed to support this type of worldwide computing growth, Ray said. He added that computing is no longer relegated to the PC, and elaborated on the need for a continuum of personal computing devices including laptops, phones and digital signage.

Ray encouraged all channel members to focus on what Intel calls the PC-like embedded space. He defined these as products that operate in many ways like a PC but have primary uses other than computing, such as digital signage, security, retail point-of-sale and storage. "We think that if someone is building PCs today, and they jump into any of these markets, they can be successful," he said.

He also said Intel is changing its position on channel management as a result of the diversity of computing devices.

"The old system builder focus won't work with the new product continuum," Ray said. "The world now has a lot of devices running different solutions, and those products will require an integrated channel play."

Ray ended with what he described as Intel's "bold" vision for the future. "This decade we will create and extend computing technology to connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth," he said.

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