Intel dives deeper into Internet-of-Things with customizable chips

Intel's general manager for datacenters explains how the chipmaker plans to crunch boatloads of data spewing from sensors to smartwatches.

Change isn't easy for anyone, even within the tech industry where the demand for and expectation of innovation is constant.

Speaking at Gigaom Structure 2014 in San Francisco on Wednesday, Diane Bryant, general manager of Intel's datacenter group, acknowledged that transformations can either be threatening and disruptive or seen as an opportunity.

Bryant assured that Intel sees the shifts in IT toward a digital services economy as an opportunity.

Intel has been busy tapping into the Internet-of-Things movement this year to make good on that opportunity.

One of the projects in the pipeline is a new product line mentioned by Bryant during the fireside chat, which consists of adapting its Xeon processor family and merging them with field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology.

The goal is to offer a new platform that is customizable for algorithms and applications as we enter the Internet-of-Things era.

Bryant highlighted scale as a key focus in this regard, aiming to serve telecommunications and cloud services providers that must address scaling issues on a routine basis.

"It will give the next big pop in efficiencies," Bryant said.

However, Bryant quickly backtracked on additional details, adding that she couldn't reveal how long Intel has been working on the project nor when it might ship.

She also lamented that she couldn't divulge customers lined up already either.

In response to questions about heated pressure in competing against the likes of ARM, among others, Bryant asserted the chip maker invests heavily in adding new product lines and architectures into its portfolio to ensure compute, storage, and performance workloads work best on Intel.

"I'm not naive to the fact that everyone would like a second source," Bryant admitted.


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