Otellini: Dual-Core, WiMAX Now Key To Intel Strategy

Paul Otellini, Intel's president, told reporters at the Intel Developer Forum that the company has had "some fumbles" recently and acknowledged rival Advanced Micro Devices may be slightly ahead in some technologies. But he also said the company is ready to grab key market opportunities as the next half-billion PC users come online.

Intel's move to dual-core and multicore processing, Otellini said, would shift thinking on PCs from "how many chips in a computer to how many computers in a chip."

"In 2005, Intel will ship dual-core products into every one of our key segments in the marketplace," Otellini said during his prepared remarks.

The forum, which Intel hosts twice annually in the United States, got under way after months of setbacks and miscues by the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip giant. But in speaking to attendees, Otellini sent a message that the company was looking beyond "point" releases of products and into entirely new platforms. He said Intel will now key in on these critical areas:

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Dual-core and multicore processors that can handle a series of high-performance applications on a single CPU, in much the same manner systems have relied on multiple CPU systems.

The continued rollout of wireless and broadband connectivity, leading Intel to now ship most of its notebooks with integrated Wi-Fi technology, as well as a move to begin shipping CPUs capable of connecting to "broaderband" WiMax networks by 2006.

Continued convergence of digital home and digital office technologies with new levels of content.

During his keynote, Otellini and others demonstrated several new Intel advances and products, including its forthcoming Montecito processor, which will contain 1.7 billion transistors; as well as Digital Transport Copy Protection over IP technology that will provide for streaming of digital content over home networks. Key to those products, and others, will be the focus on dual- and multicore technology.

"I think that I'm comfortable saying that on the road map, you'll see products in servers, notebooks and the desktop next year [with dual-core processors]," Otellini said during a press conference after his speech.

Asked if Intel had not fallen behind others in efforts to reach the market with dual-core processing, he seemed to agree but shrugged it off.

"This is not a race, guys," Otellini said. "This is a sea change in computing. We ought not look at this as a race. And I'm very happy in this case that our prime competitor is also embracing this move because it says we've also picked the right direction."

Asked about the recent delay of several Intel products--including its Sonoma wireless platform, 4GHz Pentium 4 processor and Liquid Crystal on Silicon processor for LCDs and LCD-TVs--Otellini indicated to reporters those problems have been solved.

"We had some fumbles," Otellini said. "We went back to the basics. Some of our problems had to do with the fact we had not done a terribly good job of planning at the platform level. We're moving toward a common platform planning methodology [and] putting on consistently rigorous, conservative schedules into what we're doing."

During his keynote, Otellini said Intel would bring to market a new, wireless component for its systems, code-named Rosedale, that the company is billing as the first "system on a chip" design for "customer premise equipment" that supports the new WiMax connectivity standard. WiMax, also known as 802.16-2004, is an emerging wireless standard. Intel said it is being tested by a variety of service providers for future, broadband Internet delivery across wide distances.

Intel has already begun sending samples of silicon with WiMax connectivity to several, unnamed customers, the company said. The WiMax Forum industry standard group is expected to roll out certification programs and interoperability testing next year.

"It's not inconceivable we are on the cusp of the WiMax era," Otellini said. "It could be to DSL and cable what cellular was to landline not that long ago."

The Intel Developer Forum, hosted at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, is expected to attract 5,500 attendees, including engineers, developers and press.