SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The pace of change is accelerating and providing engineers with new challenges to surmount, Intel’s Hermann Eul said at Tuesday’s DesignCon keynote speech.
“We are on a journey toward the Internet of Things, the all-pervasive, immersive Internet going into billions and connecting billions and billions of devices,” Eul, Intel’s vice president and general manager of mobile and communications, said. “This trajectory will come to life and be accelerated by your capabilities.”
Eul outlined challenges for future chip development, calling each an opportunity for more exciting technology.
“These are opportunities for doing another great engineering job, opportunities for having fun, opportunities for creating a different stage, for pushing the envelope of our capabilities, to create the next big thing.”
Chief among opportunities for growth and development is the production of ultra-low-cost, ultra-low-power consuming chips.
“If we can get [power] consumption down by a factor of 10, compute performance up by a factor of 10, we can get cost factor down by a factor of 10, we can ship 10 times as many units. This will be key to differentiation and opportunity for this industry.”
Chips also need to be high-density while accommodating increased performance in video and display driving. Adding that increased chip density means more transistors and thus more miliamps, Eul told the crowd, “We want to deliver performance… The more dense we get, the easier it will become.”
Highly integrated chips will also require mixed signal design, using heterogeneous parts such RF transceivers and audio amplifiers together. Engineers will be charged with determining the longevity of a product, as refresh rates are now at one-and-a-half years.
“All of you bring so much innovation that, after one-and-a-half years, we feel compelled to get the next, better user experience. Which devices need what kind of resilience, which need what kind of endurance? There is a lot of opportunity for differentiating.”
These small, integrated chips should also have an ultra-small footprint to enable smaller form factors to further promote the Internet of things. Remarking on sub-zero temperatures across much of the United States, Eul noted that devices of the future must be able to withstand harsh conditions. Conversely, circuits must be able to withstand high temperatures, up to 100 degrees Celsius or more.
As engineers build and connect the Internet of Things, the issue of device coexistence will become a major challenge. “Mushrooming” use cases and a new generation’s native mobility will drive the need to use multiple devices without interference.
“This coexistence situation needs the best brains to pick up this challenge and turn it into an opportunity.”
Eul ended his keynote by giving the audience a verbal pat on the back, assuring attendees that Intel will be on the forefront of innovation.
“You are giving people opportunities they never had before, you can be proud of yourself,” he told the crowd. “Intel will be with you pushing the envelope, delivering the capabilities you need to make a living out of this, have fun with technologies, and create the next wave of connected devices.”
— Jessica Lipsky, Associate Editor, EE Times