Intel is re-inventing itself to keeps its leadership status in rapidly-changing market segments that are seeing game-changing transitions.
These range from data centres to ultra-mobile devices such as tablets, phones and wearables, according to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, who laid out Intel’s vision during yesterday’s opening session of the Intel Developer Forum.
Krzanich (pictured) described how Intel is addressing each dynamic market segment – such as accelerating Intel’s progress in ultra-mobile devices – with new products over the next year and beyond, including a new, lower-power product family.
He stresses that Intel plans to leave no segment untapped. “Innovation and industry transformation are happening more rapidly than ever before, which play to Intel’s strengths. We have the manufacturing technology leadership and architectural tools in place to push further into lower power regimes. We plan to shape and lead in all areas of computing.”
Krzanich says that Intel this week will introduce “Bay Trail”, Intel’s first 22nm system-on-a-chip (SoC) for mobile devices. “Bay Trail” is based on the company’s new low-power, high-performance Silvermont micro-architecture, which will power a range of innovative Android and Windows designs, most notably tablets and two-in-one devices.
Defining the expanding ultra-mobile segment as smartphones, tablets, two-in-one tablets that take on PC functions with add-on keyboards, and other devices beyond traditional mobile computers, he points out that ultra-mobiles are a more dynamic segment than is often recognised.
“Smartphones and tablets are not the end-state,” he says. The next wave of computing is still being defined. Wearable computers and sophisticated sensors and robotics are only some of the initial applications.”
As an example of how Intel will continue to use its manufacturing and architectural leadership to push further into lower power regimes, Krzanich announced the Intel Quark processor family.
The new lower-power products will extend Intel’s reach to growing segments from the industrial Internet-of-Things to wearable computing. It is designed for applications where lower power and size take priority over higher performance.
Intel will sample form-factor reference boards based on the first product in this family during the fourth quarter of this year to help partners accelerate development of tailored, optimised solutions initially aimed at the industrial, energy and transportation segments.
As the next era of computing grows even more personal, wearables are a hotbed for innovation. Krzanich highlighted a bracelet as an example of a concept with reference designs under development, and said the company is actively pursuing opportunities with partners in this area.
In high-speed 4G wireless data communications, Krzanich said Intel’s new LTE solution provides a compelling alternative for multimode, multiband 4G connectivity, removing a critical barrier to Intel’s progress in the smartphone market segment. Intel is now shipping a multimode chip, the Intel XMM 7160 modem, which is one of the world’s smallest and lowest-power multimode-multiband solutions for global LTE roaming.
As an example of the accelerating development pace under Intel’s new management team, Krzanich said that the company’s next-generation LTE product, the Intel XMM 7260 modem, is now under development.
Expected to ship in 2014, the Intel XMM 7260 modem will deliver LTE-Advanced features, such as carrier aggregation, timed with future advanced 4G network deployments.
He also demonstrated a smartphone platform featuring both the Intel XMM 7160 LTE solution and Intel’s next-generation Intel Atom SoC for 2014 smartphones and tablets codenamed “Merrifield”. Based on the Silvermont micro-architecture, “Merrifield” will deliver increased performance, power-efficiency and battery life over Intel’s current-generation offering.
Citing continued, rapid innovation for PCs of the future, Krzanich demonstrated a 14nm-based “Broadwell” system.
“Broadwell”, set to begin production by the end of this year, will be the lead product made using Intel’s 14nm manufacturing process. The first “Broadwell” products will deliver higher performance, longer battery life and low platform power points for 2 in 1 and fanless devices, ultrabooks and various PC designs.
Saying that Intel will bring the full weight of its manufacturing process and architectural leadership to the Intel Atom processor family, Krzanich confirmed that Intel intends to bring its Intel Atom processor and other products based on the next-generation “Airmont” micro-architecture to market on Intel’s leading-edge 14nm process technology beginning next year. Timing will vary by product segment.
As the only company offering 3D Tri-gate transistors and the only semiconductor manufacturer in production at 22nm, Intel leads the industry in transistor technology by about three years.
With its coming 14nm process, Intel’s second process generation with 3-D Tri-gate transistors, the company will further extend this lead. Advanced 3-D Tri-gate transistors enable the improved performance and energy efficiency demanded by today’s spectrum of computing that ranges from ultra-mobiles to servers.
Intel’s data centre business, which generates more than $10-billion in revenues annually, develops solutions that help businesses keep pace with the increasing demands for cloud services and for managing data generated from-billions of users and connected devices worldwide.
Intel’s goal is to re-architect the data centre to enable a common, software-defined foundation for both data centres and cloud service providers that spans servers, networking, storage and security.