Intel is changing. It’s certainly not the same company it was 42 years ago when we were founded, nor even five years ago for that matter. We’re still the world’s largest semiconductor company, but we have become so much more than that. In the next few years Intel will make the leap from being a semiconductor company to a full-fledged computing company. And that will provide all kinds of exciting opportunity for people wanting to work here.
For starters, when most people think of Intel, they don’t think of software. Yet Intel has over 10,000 software engineers. I heard that if we split out all of our software people into a separate company, it’d be the sixth largest software company on the planet. And that was before we announced our intention to purchase the security software giant, McAfee.
We are also hiring more anthropologists, industrial designers, human factors engineers, and user-centered designers to help us build the products that will power the incredible user experiences of the future. In order to come up with products that people will love, you have to understand people. You have to understand what they love today, and how you can create something they’ll love even more. Our teams of anthropologists, ethnographers and such go out into the field and spend time in peoples’ homes studying how they live and helping us come up with the technologies that will fit into people’s lives and help make them better. We are already starting to see the fruits of this approach in some of our TV, healthcare and educational products.
Moore’s Law is a tricky thing. Because it’s not really a law, so much as a goal the industry has taken upon itself to fulfill over time. It doesn’t just happen. It takes brilliant chemical engineers, physicists, material scientists, and other serious, hard-core engineering to create the extremely tiny structures that are needed to build a modern silicon chip. And Moore’s Law is getting a lot harder. Our 32nm transistors are already so small that 60 million of them would fit on the head of a pin. Getting to 22nm and beyond takes the brilliance and sheer inventiveness of our amazing scientists. We really do have some of the very best and brightest working in our research and development (R&D) teams.
Our R&D people aren’t just working on silicon though. We have a bazillion PhDs here working on all kinds of exciting future technologies. Some are pushing the boundaries of physics in the areas of optical computing. As a result of the efforts over the last many years you can expect to see personal computers with optical links perhaps as early as next year. Imagine how fast you’ll be able to sync your movie or music player once it’s optical! Others in our labs are working on networking, storage, and wireless technologies that you won’t see until the next decade. One team has even been working in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to create “programmable matter.” Imagine being able to design an object in 3D and then see it appear before your eyes. There’s a fun CNN report you can see on YouTube that shows what they hope it’ll be like, 15-20 years from now.
Intel is a melting pot of talent from all around the world. We have facilities in almost every time zone, spanning Malaysia to Moscow, and Hudson to Ho Chi Minh City. I love coming to work each day and getting to meet smart people who span a range of disciplines that makes my head spin. Last week I spent time with our top 100 researchers from around the world, this week I was with our college recruiters and a bunch of our leading software people, and next month I am meeting with the team that keeps our supply chain moving like clockwork.
As I look forward to the next five years at Intel, I am so excited at how I see our company changing and growing. We will continue to build and nurture our software talent. They will be working on leading-edge software that will power context-aware devices that work together to improve our lives. We will continue to push the boundaries of Moore’s Law and plan to leave our competition even further behind us. And our smart user experience and product marketing people will be coming up with ideas for new products that’ll make your toes curl.
Intel was an amazing company when it was founded by Gordon Moore and Bob Noyce back in 1968. Today, their passion for technology–and what it can do for people–still informs the way we think and operate. Bob Noyce famously once said, “Don’t be encumbered by history. Go off and do something wonderful.” This way of thinking lead Intel to create microprocessors, invent the EPROM, Flash memory, and technology like the Universal Serial Bus, and to come up with many of the electronics innovations we take for granted today.
Today, we honor that same spirit by reinventing the company once again. As we unite software and hardware in new ways to deliver secure, personalized compute experiences for people all over the world, we’ll be able to do things that have never been done before. I’m so glad I am a part of it. Perhaps some of you reading this will join us some day to help us out in our effort to continually change the world with the things we make. I hope so.