This morning I'm at a CNET/ZDNet journalist day at Intel. All the Intel executives are showing up, accompied by their PR people, for 30-minute discussions with us about the company's plans. The day started with Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Health Group. Burns' team has spent the last four plus years researching the healthcare industry. One of the biggest problems, he said, is a lack of standards bodies in healthcare. Digital images from different equipment, such as MRI machines, aren't standardized, nor are the user interfaces for technicians.
Burns said that Intel is working with the healthcare community and consortiums to drive solutions and standards, such as for RFID. "We are not promoting an Intel standard, we are working with [healthcare] ecosystem. We never dictate terms," Burns said. The payoff for the research, besides helping improve healthcare systems, is that more medical facilities will buy lots of technology, especially to improve safety and get rid of paper. "There are 6.,000 new hospital being built in China--do the math," Burns said. Intel is also doing reference designs for healthcare, with tablet systems that integrate RFID, barcode, VoIP, cameras, Wi-Fi (WiMax later) and deal with environmental issues (surviving drops) and engineering issues, such as baking in all the attennas. Mark Bohr, Intel senior fellow technology and manufacturing group director, directs the early development activities, which features to select in new logic technologies. He first put up a slide of the Hillsboro, Oregon campus, pointing out the fabrication plants, including a relatively new one rolling out 65 nanometer parts. The Hillsboro fabs serve as test beds for developing the process technology used by the other Intel fabs around the world. Bohr described Intel as the only company on a two-year cycles, going from 90 nanometer in 2003 to 65 nanometer in 2005 to 45 nanometer in 2007. "My group in Oregon is making progress on 32 nanometer and the research group is working on 22 nanometer," he said. Competitors, such as AMD and Samsung, are on a three year cadence, he said. Bohr said that Intel is trying to get some of its "fellow travelers" to commit to 450 millimeter wafers, which he expects to have around 2111 to 2113.