"Smaller - Cooler - Faster" Meets "Carry Small, Live Large" - InformationWeek

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7/24/2008
12:01 AM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
Commentary
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"Smaller - Cooler - Faster" Meets "Carry Small, Live Large"

bMighty.com doesn't usually cover new chips and stuff, mostly because that kind of technology doesn't have an immediate impact on small and midsize companies. But when I heard not one but TWO awesome new marketing phrases in a single press briefing, I was hooked. And besides, Intel promises its new smart System on Chip (SoC) designs will accelerate some important trends that could benefit bMighty readers.

bMighty.com doesn't usually cover new chips and stuff, mostly because that kind of technology doesn't have an immediate impact on small and midsize companies. But when I heard not one but TWO awesome new marketing phrases in a single press briefing, I was hooked. And besides, Intel promises its new smart System on Chip (SoC) designs will accelerate some important trends that could benefit bMighty readers.Basically, the company announced a bunch new chips. Big deal, they do that all the time, right?

Well, yes they do. But this EP80579 family is intended to help enable new Internet-connected devices and -- importantly -- smaller, smarter mobile devices. Intel's Gadi Singer, Intel Vice President, Mobility Group and General Manager, SoC Enabling Group, said the chips as "smarter, cooler, faster" and said they would lead to mobile devices that would let users "carry small and live large." (Awesome marketing phrase number 1!)

What does that mean, exactly? When I asked Singer about it, he talked about mobile devices that could leverage information and resources in the environment around them. A mobile device might be able to wirelessly recognize available displays and use them instead of the puny one that fits on the device itself, for example. Similarly, mobile devices could wirelessly connect to special "docking stations" to take advantage of full-size keyboards and other peripherals. That way, people wouldn't have to carry everything with them all the time, their mobile devices could make use of whatever resources were available locally.

Or you might take a picture of a building, and the device could go out on the Net and recognize the structure and supply information about it and what services are available there. And when you take such a device to the ballgame, for example, it could interact with the other devices in the environment to allow new kids of applications.

While these devices will vary in size, they will all likely be smaller and lighter than their current equivalents, with longer battery life and the computing horsepower needed for these new applications. That's a big deal, since Singer cited predictions of more than 1.2 billion mobile Internet users by 2012, and 100-fold growth in location-based services.

To make all that possible will require smaller but more-powerful yet less-power-hungry chips able to work with a wide variety of software. What Intel's Doug Davis, Vice President, Digital Enterprise Group and General Manager, Embedded & Communications Group described as "Smaller - Cooler - Faster" (awesome marketing phrase number 2!).

Davis added that the the chips -- initially designed for embedded applications and eventually to be expanded to mobile uses -- offered "true" Internet capabilities. That seems a little elitist -- Intel isn't the only company busy developing these kinds of chips -- but as these capabilities proliferate it will likely open up new opportunities for agile companies able to take first-more advantage.

So, that's why I decided to violate bMighty's typical policy to focus on business issues, not technology. I hope you don't mind.

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