I would like to tell you why I have the best job at Intel and why I think we are in the most exciting time in the history of computing. Before I do that I would like to start back at the beginning of the personal computer revolution.I had the pleasure of working on the original 80386 microprocessor, which was launched in 1986. . This was a very exciting project. Everyone in the team was very energized to be part of the project. We definitely knew we were on the brink of something very big. The vast transistor budget available for that project permitted us to build an entire CPU on one chip. We achieved unprecedented performance at a very low cost level. On top of that we were able to easily beat the performance of mini computers, We projected we would exceed the performance of main frame machines within a few generations of microprocessors. Two product generations later we developed the Pentium™ Microprocessor. At that time we know that microprocessors had became the universal building block for computing. In my mind this was a very major milestone in the history of computing. I had the pleasure to lead the development of quite a number of microprocessors over a 20 year period. I experienced first hand the huge growth in instructions per clock and the increases in clock rate, that advances in silicon process technology enabled. We continued to smash through technology barriers and innovate on many fronts to increase performance. As performance increased, computer usage broadened to new uses, which we now take for granted. Microprocessors have now touched every aspect of our lives. We all have come to expect that the internet connects us to each other, and makes information available and commerce easy. We take for granted that email is ubiquitous, and that the computer has come to be the place to store and enjoy all kinds of media. This has clearly been a revolutionary change and we are by far not at the end of the revolution. We are actually starting the next inflection point in the revolution of computing and I would like to illustrate this by example. I recently built a quad core computer for my home. This computer is simply fantastic. I use this computer to edit digital images and convert RAW files. These are demanding tasks for 13 mega pixel images. A single core computer simply gets bogged down doing RAW conversions and some of the more complex image manipulations. This is painfully obvious after a shooting session when there are hundreds of pictures to process, since it can take hours. The quad core computer, with threaded software is so fast; I actually can process the images as fast as I can decide how I want the images to look. Most compute intensive software applications can be written to benefit from the use of multiple cores. The ability to use multiple cores to work on one task is a major break through since performance can be increased simply by implementing more cores in the system. Moore’s Law continues to give us increases in transistor budgets that will bring this technology to increasing numbers of people. The excitement is just as palpable as when we designed the original 80386 microprocessor. The next revolution in computing is developing before our eyes. My job at Intel is leading a team of talented researcher who are working on ways to accelerate the trend to multiple cores. We are making great progress. It is exciting to be part of this revolution. This is why I always say I have the best job at Intel. Next time I post I will describe some of the challenges we are working on.
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