Intel Bringing Convergence Mainstream

In his Intel Developer Forum keynote, company President Paul Otellini outlined products Intel is working on that will speed up the convergence of communications and computing.

SAN JOSE, Calif.—The convergence of communications and computing, which Intel Corp. talked about when launching its Centrino mobile platform earlier this year, is becoming more pervasive and will be fueled by a number of products the chip maker will roll out over the next few years, according to Intels president and chief operating officer.

"Convergence is becoming mainstream," Paul Otellini told several thousand people during the opening keynote at the fall Intel Developer Forum 2003 here on Tuesday. "The technology is bringing all types of changes."


The use of wireless technology is growing, Intels chips for servers and PCs will continue to add features designed to enable users to do more with their devices, and new markets—in particular Asia and Eastern Europe—are emerging that will force vendors to not only increase the capabilities of their products but also find ways to drive down the costs, Otellini said.

He outlined the myriad products Intel is developing that will dovetail with those scenarios. For example, Intel has put its Hyper-Threading technology—which enables a single processor to work as two virtual chips—across its Pentium 4 and Xeon lines of 32-bit chips, Otellini said. "Convergence by its very nature is a multitasking, multithreaded environment," he said. "As a developer, youve got to assume that threading is pervasive."

He also pointed to Centrino, which is designed to give mobile device users longer battery life and seamless wireless access. Wireless access points continue to grow—from 10 million this year to 20 million next year—as do Wi-Fi hot spots, from 50,000 by the end of this year to 80,000 in 2004, he said.

Intel will grow its wireless capabilities as well, Otellini said. Centrino currently offers 802.11b connectivity, and that will grow to a/b by the end of the quarter, he said. That will be followed by 802.11g by the end of the year, and a/b/g in the first half of next year.

Next page: Intels LaGrande security plan.