EIF Meeting with Intel's Chief Technology Officer: Justin Rattner

28 January 2009 Author: EIFonline

Justin Rattner, Intel's Chief Technology Officer, provided a fascinating look into the future of the microchip over an EIF breakfast meeting on the 28th of January 2009. Mr. Rattner emphasized that the digital revolution is young and that new developments will not be linear but exponential.

Progress will be faster than ever before in technology. 'In the next 100 years we will experience as much technological progress as we have in the last 20,000 years'.

We will see new applications of microchips like wireless sensor networks, chips embedded in the wall using short range radio that are not wired to power sources but that harvest their energy from the energy surrounding us. These chips could for instance measure the temperature of the room and switch appliances on or off. New chips also will become – even – more energy efficient, which is a necessity in a world that will be powered by billions of them.

In healthcare, other new microchip developments will allow monitoring of people’s behaviour or location and could -for example- be beneficial for an Alzheimer patient. Such a chip would register what a person is doing or has done: if they have eaten, if they sit or walk and where they are located. The chip then sends this information to a monitoring facility that could take action in case of irregularities. In the same area, new DNA sequencing chips will allow instant blood analysis for a particular DNA strand for patients.

In the big picture, we will see an ‘Internet of Things’ coming our way that will have gigantic proportions in terms of the number of devices that we will connect to this Internet, ranging from cars to the fridge or microwave in your kitchen. Each person may have well over 1000 ‘radios’ on them that are continuously connected with the Internet. Apart from being a tremendous opportunity and an improvement of our lives the advent of such technologies still poses many challenges like spectrum frequencies regulation for instance.


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