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Intel CTO Presses Software Developers To Keep Pace

Intel Fellow Justin Rattner said software delivery has reached an inflection point and developers of packaged applications are becoming an endangered species.

K.C. Krishnadas

January 17, 2008

2 Min Read

BENGALURU, India — Software development and delivery have failed to keep pace with advances in computer hardware, according to Intel Corp.'s CTO.

Speaking here on Thursday (Jan. 17), Justin Rattner said software delivery has reached an inflection point and developers of packaged applications are becoming an endangered species. He said Intel believes current software delivery methods are being replaced by global Internet connectivity. Hence, the delivery of software services now depends more on secure transmission over global networks.

One reason why packaged software applications are threatened is their inability to keep pace with continuous progress in computing technology, said Rattner, who is also director of Intel's corporate technology group. As hardware technology approaches the terascale level on the desktop, software has fallen further behind.

One result has been a lack of parallel programming applications to leverage dual-and multi-core processing technology. Intel is looking for "new languages for programming in parallel," Rattner told the India Semiconductor Association.

"Software applications [have been] on a plateau for a long time, particularly in the case of the personal computer, and innovation seems to have moved on to the handheld" market, Rattner said. "Applications may also not be used because of their price performance, which may not be compatible, though it appears to be in the case of hardware."

Added Rattner: "Those who have heard of our efforts in terascale computing have approached us to see if their software can possibly be made to work at this level. This is happening both in the case of consumer and enterprise applications. Technology will unleash the application developers in a way that just is not possible to be foreseen. In fact, it is already starting to happen."

Intel, he said, will focus more on features and capabilities in order to add value, rather than on performance. "Our enterprise advisory group has told us that [IT] management and security are top priorities for enterprises, and it is significant how performance has dropped in importance," Rattner said. "OEMs, though, are reluctant to admit that features and capabilities are more important than performance, but customers are making them listen."

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