Intel lays down case for software focus
Hardware needs software more than ever, CEO Brian Krzanich said
IDG News Service - For decades, Intel chips would be unboxed and put straight into computers. Now the chip maker is trying to tie software closer to hardware before it starts producing chips, said CEO Brian Krzanich on Wednesday.
"For companies like Intel that are for the most part hardware companies, we tend to use software as a driver for hardware, and we tend to think of software as helping drive [the] need for hardware," Krzanich said in a chat session on Reddit.
In driving his point home, Krzanich invoked former Intel CEO Andy Grove. Grove said that software and hardware were complementary, and "drove each other," Krzanich wrote.
Intel's software focus has grown in recent years, which became evident when the company appointed Renee James as the company's president in May, a promotion from her previous post as executive vice president and general manager of the software and services group. James and Krzanich work as a team to make decisions for the company.
In recent years Intel has also made many software acquisitions, including McAfee. Intel intends to push the acquired software into mobile devices and PCs.
Intel is tuning McAfee -- now renamed Intel Security -- software to take advantage of security features on its chips. Intel also acquired software companies like Wind River, whose real-time operating system is considered key for its supercomputing and low-power "Internet of things" chips to securely collect and quickly process data.
Intel has also released its own Hadoop distribution designed to work best with its server chips.
"We now spend a huge amount of time upfront thinking about the experiences we want a user to have before we put one transistor on the chip," Krzanich said.
That is how Intel has changed its approach in chip development -- first defining what a product is going to be used for, developing the software and tools around it and then tuning the chip to meet that user experience, Krzanich said.
"It's about experience, and without a great user experience from the un-boxing onwards...you don't have a product," Krzanich said.
Krzanich also touched upon the company's relationship with Apple.
"We've always had a very close relationship with Apple and it continues to grow closer," Krzanich wrote. "We're always trying to build the relationship with all of our customers to be closer."
Apple uses Intel's chips in PCs, but uses its own ARM-based processors in the iPhone, iPad and other devices. After sticking to making mainly x86 chips in its factories for decades, Intel opened up to making ARM-based processors earlier this year, and will be making 64-bit ARM chips for Altera, which makes FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays).
Analyst firm IC Insight last week sent a note saying that Intel should cut a deal with Apple to make 64-bit chips on the 14-nanometer process, which is considered the industry's most advanced manufacturing technology.
Krzanich also said he hopes 40 million tablets with Intel chips will ship this year.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Mobile Policy Checklist Here's what to consider when putting together a mobile policy designed to support a highly productive workforce.
- Mobile Applications Case Study: 8 Billion Transactions a Day The story documents how the online brokerage company tradeMONSTER created a custom mobile app and the success gleaned from this initiative. Also covered...
- Who's afraid of the big (data) bad wolf? Survive the big data storm by getting ahead of integration and governance functional requirements This paper provides a detailed review of the best practices clients should consider before embarking on their big data integration projects.
- Understanding big data so you can act with confidence Automating information integration and governance and employing it at the point of data creation helps organizations boost confidence in their big data.
- Mobile Apps and Devices Slash Customer Cycle Time Consolidated Engineering Laboratories' field employees used to collect data on triplicate forms that were sometimes hard to read and difficult to manage. After...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources... All Processors White Papers | Webcasts