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By | Richard Chirgwin 27th April 2016 01:40

Intel CEO Krzanich: PCs are things too!

Intel plans to put itself InsideTM the Panopticon that is cloudy analytics

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, presiding over flatlining performance, boardroom tumult and a one-in-ten slimming down of Chipzilla's workforce, has broken out the happy juice to promise better times ahead for the world's biggest sand-slinger.

Krzanich has posted a blog in which he calls out the cloud (chips for data centres), the Internet of Things (currently a zero-billion-dollar business for Intel), and 5G (remember Intel's dominant position in the mobile market? Neither do we), plus Moore's law as the company's future.

Given the thousand shocks Intel's core PC chips business has suffered in recent years, it's no surprise that Krzanich has decided at a stroke to massively expand the Internet of Things market, by including PCs in that heading: '“Things” range from PCs to what we now call the Internet of Things”, he writes.

(It's less than a month since Intel decided that client computing products and IoT products needed separate reporting lines, but never mind.)

The IoT is, however, going to fuel the segment that Intel feels is most valuable, because all those Things are going to exist in business models that rely on data centres for heavy data lifting. Krzanich reckons, probably correctly, that the cloud's therefore going to account for more CPU sales than PCs in the near future.

It's not just making sure Intel's footprint in the data centre is bigger, he writes, because mass commercial surveillance analytics is the key to unlocking value: “We’ll accelerate the power and value of analytics by continuing to innovate in high-performance computing, big data and machine learning capabilities”, he writes.

That's where Things come in: “everything that a “thing” does can be captured as a piece of data, measured real-time, and is accessible from anywhere. And the biggest opportunity in the Internet of Things is that it encompasses just about everything in our lives today – it’s ubiquitous”. Lovely.

Next in the vision is memory, where FPGAs, silicon photonics, 3D Xpoint memory and the Rack Scale Architecture are just the beginning. Krzanich promises readers of a bunch more stuff in the pipeline, with “a long roadmap that will allow for growth for years to come.”

Promising faith over experience, Krzanich promises that unlike every other mobile technology it's promised to dominate, Intel really will take command over the world of 5G.

“Intel will lead because of our technological strength to deliver end-to-end 5G systems, from modems to base stations to all the various forms of connectivity that exist today and will exist tomorrow”, he writes.

The rest of the world might still be mourning the death of Intel's Tick-Tock development methodology, but Krzanich still has faith in Moore's Law.

“The law says that we can shrink transistor dimensions by roughly 50% at a roughly fixed cost, thus driving twice the transistors for the same cost (or the same number of transistors for half the cost)”, he writes, confidently promising progress from 14 nm geometries to 10 nm, 7 nm, 5 nm “and even beyond”. ®

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