Intel focusing on building universal chips for multiple devices, platforms

Summary:Speaking at Intel's annual investor meeting in Santa Clara on Tuesday, CEO Paul Otellini emphasized that that PCs aren't just evolving, but rather are being reinvented based on mobile needs.

Speaking at Intel's annual investor meeting in Santa Clara on Tuesday, CEO Paul Otellini emphasized that that PCs aren't just evolving, but rather are being reinvented based on mobile needs.

Basically, Intel's focus for the near future can be summed up in four points:

  • Extend silicon leadership in all segments
  • Evolve the notebook into an ultra-simple, ultra-thin, ultra-versatile internet device
  • Deliver best-in-class solutions for tablets and phones
  • Extend architecture in “smart” adjacencies

Versatility is really the main idea here. To sum up, Otellini said that Intel is "going to support every form of wireless technology out there." That goes for multiple operating systems, broadband connections and devices overall.

But to achieve that goal, developers and engineers have to basically reinvent the PC based on evolving needs. Along with being ultra-thin and ultra-capable, Otellini stated that computers being churned out and launched over the next few years have to have the following features: All day battery life, instant on, touch-enabled interface, mainstream price points, seamless inter-connectivty between devices, best-in-class graphics and performance, and security.

Intel is working on both the hardware and software sides itself, but also with outside partners such as Microsoft. (If you're wondering about Nokia, Otellini said that although Intel was disappointed with the fall-out in February, it's shopping around its smartphone resources to other companies.)

After boasting positive numbers in growth in 2010 (including a mind-boggling figure of 74.5 quintillion transistors shipped last year), Intel execs project continued growth and profits for 2011. Otellini added at the keynote that "no one on Earth that has the capabilities we’ve demonstrated and putting into production this year."

Some of the expected expansion will be seen more heavily abroad in emerging markets. In this arena, Intel is looking primarily at China, which is currently the second largest market for computing and will be the largest for computers by 2012. Additionally, Brazil is on the radar as the current fourth largest market for computing, and it will move to number three behind the United States and China in the next few years. Obviously, the U.S., Europe and Japan are still areas of focus, primarily for enterprise where Intel affirms that purchases are still strong.

Additionally, over next 36 months, Intel will be rolling out new Atom-based chips for tablets, smartphones and netbooks that will operate at approximately twice the rate of Moore’s Law. This marks the third major transition in speed and performance of Intel chips, not to mention more direction toward developing for mobile devices.

Related coverage on ZDNet:

Topics: Intel


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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