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Intel's PC chief talks about 5G, changes in chip design

Agam Shah | March 10, 2017
Intel's Venkata Renduchintala talks about 5G and 8th Generation Core chips

Intel surprised many observers when the company hired outsider Venkata Renduchintala to lead the company's PC, Internet of Things, and Systems Architecture groups.

With more than a year under his belt, he's spearheading a cultural change inside the company, getting employees to think beyond PCs and talk about technologies like 5G and IoT.

There's been a lot of chatter about changes in the company's chip development strategy, with the recent announcement of the 8th Generation Core processors, an unprecedented fourth chip architecture on the 14-nanometer process. The chip industry veteran sat down with the IDG News Service at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to talk about what spurred the move and also his thoughts on 5G.

IDG News Service: How is 5G development going?

Renduchintala: I'm noticing there are a hell of a lot more people interested in 5G. The interest in anything that happened before -- whether you're an industrial conglomerate, a car company, a transportation company -- you are now talking about much more interest in 5G than ever before. It's the whole age of everything coming down to data. There are so many colliding identities that get aggregated under the banner of 5G. For example, IoT is now becoming inextricably linked with the passage of 5G.

IDG News Service: 5G will be across a wide range of devices. What can users expect?

Renduchintala: You'll have network operators becoming more like a cable operator where you can basically get your phone, internet, and TV all in one contract. An autonomous car, all of your cell phones, your tablets, your media consumption, and even the automation and control of your house via an IoT network, is all going to be in one bill. It's going to be different types of networks all generating different types of traffic but ultimately concatenating into one of all integrated services. A network operator is going to basically say: I deliver media, I deliver services, I deliver mobile broadband communications, and it may be delivered over two or three different network architectures that all work together.

IDG News Service: What's happening to the 5G network?

Renduchintala: What's happening in the network, although it may be more esoteric to explain, is actually just as profound. A network that used to be custom pieces of silicon -- that used to be hand-stitched together to give you performance optimization and load balancing -- is now collapsing down to a reconfigurable entity that used to live in the data center [and is] now being shoved into the network. It's general purpose computing, general purpose data distribution, reconfigurable memory and programming logic, all of which can be reconstituted by the upgrade of a binary in terms of the function.

 

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