Otellini at IDF: Innovation shifts as technology grows beyond the PC

Someday, I'd like to be able to stream music while swimming. I'd also like to be able to watch a movie premiere - from my car.

Someday, I'd like to be able to stream music while swimming. I'd also like to be able to watch a movie premiere - from my car. And wouldn't it be cool if there was technology that allowed computers to fix themselves.

No one is saying that Intel will build the technology platform to make these sort of things happen anytime soon. But the imagination that creates new technologies is limitless and that's what keeps Intel innovating for the future.

Also see: Intel teases 22 nanometer chips

Credit: Stephen Shankland, CNet News

Credit: Stephen Shankland, CNet News

During the opening keynote speech at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, CEO and chairman Paul Otellini left attendees with a simple message: we'll keep innovating on the technology front and you keep building the next big things. In fact, he drove home the message that, through standards technology, Intel wants developers to be able to just build once, not for multiple platforms.

The keynote was centered around the idea of changing demands, a continuum of technology if you will. It used to be, Otellini said, that everything was centered around the PC. Today, that's no longer the case, The market has shifted and grown and the needs for computing power is everywhere. There are consumer gadgets such as netbooks, portable gaming devices and web-enabled handhelds. But there are also devices that are mission-critical in the medical field, features that are driving change in the automotive industry, demands for digital signage and even an interest in new technology for Las Vegas slot machines.

It's a different time now, he said. It used to be that chip technology was focused around speed, size and improved battery life. Today, the differentiators in products come in the form of bandwidth usage, user interface and, yes, even the ability to tweet. The devices that people use - whether a smartphone or a netbook or even a plasma-screen television - all need to work together in a seamless fashion. And the key, he said, is the software.

"The software binds this continuum together," Otellini said. "It removes the barrier."

Over the past couple of years, Intel has acquired ten companies in the software area to get the tools that allow developers to do more. And with the arrival of Windows 7 next month, the public will finally experience the innovation that's been going on behind the scenes - faster bootups and better power management, among other things.

Otellini called Windows 7 a "first-class operating system" that could help spark a resurgence in the tech industry. Netbooks built on the Atom processor and the interest in them has been "astounding, a growth driver for Intel and the industry." He envisions the industry continuing to grow - and evolve - with the arrival of Windows 7, the continued interest in mobile devices and the limitless imagination of the developer who is destined to build the next big thing.