Bullish Barrett sets tone at Intel show

SAN FRANCISCO – Although its official theme is “advancing the digital universe”, the recurring theme so far at the Spring 2002 Intel Developer Forum (IDF) is one of global awareness within the tech industry.

During his keynote address Monday to over 4,000 developers, engineers, tech experts and media from an estimated 55 countries, Intel CEO Craig Barrett emphasized the need for the industrial world to use emerging technologies to create “knowledge-based economies.”

Despite the IT industry having one of the worst years in recent memory, continued investment in technology and R&D are the keys to growth, Barrett said, adding that the build-out of the Internet is crucial to industry success.

“The only way out of a recession is to bring out new products and new technology,” Barrett said. “What our industry has in front of it is a worldwide build-out of the Internet – the convergence of communication and computing, and the fact that the best is still ahead of us.”

Barrett said that the emergence of the Internet and Web services will have a strong impact on the industry: “We have 400 million users attached to the Internet today – we should have 1 billion in a couple of years…the Internet is the basis for communication, for information access, for commerce, and for entertainment moving forward.”

Barrett and other Intel executives also used the address to officially roll out several new products, including three new single-chip gigabit Ethernet products for workstations and servers, its new Xeon processor and chip-set for lower-end servers, and products based on Intel’s InfiniBand fabric connectivity.

Citing Moore’s law, Barrett said that Intel is now shipping microprocessors built in its 300 mm wafer production Oregon facility using 0.13-micron process technology, allowing Intel to build processors about four times faster than previous generations. Future chips by Intel will feature over 2 billion transistors that will run at up to 30 GHz, he added.

Held this year at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, the four-day IDF allows hardware and software developers to gain insight on trends in the tech industry.

Intel worldwide manager Steve Brown noted this year’s IDF has a stronger technical focus than in past years, pointing to the 200 hours of lectures, sessions, and labs covering a range of emerging technologies, including 802.11a wireless networking, InfiniBand, packet-based processing, Web services, and 3GIO.

Brown said that the chipmaker recognizes that the U.S. comprises a small percentage of a global market and is scheduled to hold several IDFs in Europe and Asia in the first half of 2002.

“We want to be the place where the industry comes together and comes up with a common sense of direction on where we want to go,” Brown said.

“We want to make sure that when people walk away from here, they’re up to date on the latest technology.”

Intel Corp. is at http://www.intel.com

The Intel Developer Forum Conference is at http://www.intel.com/idf/us/spr2002/