Intel CEO Paul Otellini talks up Innovation at SCU President Speakers Series

“Create and extend computing technology to connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth.” According to Intel, it is the mission and kind of thinking that has defined and shaped the comapny’s actions for the past four decades.  Intel’ s world class semiconductor processing technology, enables the company to design and build microprocessors that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices.

Intel is dedicated to solving some very complex problems: How do we push transistor technology beyond the seemingly immovable laws of physics? How can we empower people in the remotest villages around the world with tools of the digital age? How will we prepare young people, so they will continue to innovate and solve some of our world’s biggest challenges?

Paul Otellini confronts these issues everyday as President and Chief Executive Officer of Intel Corporation. After being named CEO in 2005, Mr. Otellini has focused on driving the company’s growth and mission to deliver secure, connected, and energy-efficient computing solutions.

On October 6th, Mr. Otellini talked about innovation and Intel’s come from behind strategy to win market share in mobile computing.  The session was moderated by long time SCU EE Prof Cary Yang.

Otellini identified three challenges facing the entire technology industry:

 1.  Everywhere computing-  in phones, cars, media tablets, TVs, shopping in the mall, digital signage, etc

2.  Making the benefits of computing available to people all over the world, especially in developing countries.

 3.  Ensure innovation will continue.  Innovation was said to be “the ultimate driver of progress.”

During his prepared remarks and Q &A, Mr. Otellini made several bold statements.  Here are a few that caught my attention:

“China is more innovative than Japan.”

 “Intel is the 4th largest software company in the world, measured by number of software engineers.”

 “WiMAX was not the winning mobile wireless technology, but it drove 4G, which is LTE.” 

Analysis:  This oft cited comment really means that the pressure WiMAX proponents (like Intel) put on making OFDMA based mobile WiMAX technology available, caused the LTE camp to accelerate their own deployments.  While that is certainly true, it didn’t benefit Intel at all since the company never had an LTE development or ecosystem building program (like they had for mobile WiMAX and WiMAX 2.0).

In answer to a question posed by this author about Intel’s failure to gain market traction in mobile computing, Mr. Otellini replied that “Intel is inside many tablets, but not the iPAD.”  And that they would be announcing several “design wins” in smart phones next Spring.  He referred to a keynote talk he  will make at the January 2012 CES about Intel’s mobile computing initiatives and offered me a free ticket if I wanted to attend!

A video recording of Mr. Otellini’s speech is available at: