2010-2019: The Decade of Available Computing

Every year industry pundits predict the future of computing technologies, investment decisions and resource requirements to move the industry in a direction that meets their investment criteria, venture endeavors or writing competencies. Many of these predictions are well known and "foregone" conclusions for growth to us who live with these products, people and plant decisions every day. So this year I thought I would throw my "hat into the ring" and give some of my predictions for the next decade. For those of you who know me you will not be surprised to "stretch your imagination" for the coming decade. For those of you who are reading this blog for the 1st time or sometime in 2011 than your comments are welcome.

Risk taking is a core part of Intel's culture....so here goes, from #10 to #1:

DISCLAIMER: All of the views expressed below are my personal predictions for the next decade and do not reflect the public position of Intel Corporation. If I offend anyone, I apologize in advance. I did not consult a committee, discuss in an open forum or otherwise "cleanse" my opinion. Predictions are difficult to make, data is not readily available and all NDA's (personal and professional) have been honored.

10. The "universal" healthcare momentum in the US will fizzle in bureaucracy but the healthcare investment in technology and efficiencies will continue at an accelerated pace. The resulting momentum will see the development of "Virtual Machine Medical" records and "Care-based" clouds to optimize records transport, reduce IT infrastructure expense and lower liabilities for caregivers. The resultant data impact will lower Big Pharma manufacturing costs, increase profits and reduce FDA approval cycles. These costs will not be absorbed by the wealthy but rather through industry consolidation. Innovation NOT prevention will be core to this evolution.

How?: Every person in US and other developed nations will be required to carry their secure and encrypted information in 2 locations. Their primary Healthcare professional and their personal wireless device (Notice: Digital and Cellular will be obsolete terms by the end of the decade).

9. The automotive industry will cross the chasm into innovation for the first time in 50 years. Cloud Computing infrastructures and "General Auto" Apps Engines will allow consumer to design their own vehicles through a sophisticated CAD design tool for consumers. The resultant infrastructure will be linked to supplier databases, union labor will bid to work on it and customers will have choices between Gasoline, Diesel or Hybrid engine designs.

Why?: It is long overdue for the Auto industry to innovate at a speed more akin to other industries. The Asian market opportunity alone will drive massive innovation. 5% MPG, Horsepower and Leather Bucket seats improvements are not enough.

8. Music will be digitally free and universally available...with an internet connection. Free from DRM (doesn't work anyway) and free to be transported to any device that consumers are willing to pay for. iTunes, Vevo, Jay-Z TV, Rhapsody, Panorama, JamRocket, Napster and others will foster a decade of song. It will be an exciting and transformative decade of integrated audio and video stimuli to a generation of digital super users worldwide. Regardless of language, the best music will transport it's way across the digital clouds to be mixed, re-recorded and consumed billions of times everyday. The music industry will survive and thrive as it has for centuries. Music is universal to our existence the best have always found a way to rise to the top. Thank you Susan Boyle!

Who cares?: My children, your children and anyone under 25 who does not wish to be straddled by intellectual property rights attorneys who cannot defend inertia or the will of the 21st century human.

7. The internet will be accessed by over 70% of the world's population on at least a monthly basis. Some folks may assume this to be a "not so bold prediction". Let's look at the statistics today. It has taken almost 40 years for the Internet to reach 1.7 billion people worldwide (See Chart below). The global expansion of Internet access is a global initiative more important than the Kyoto accord in this author's opinion. (See Prediction #2 for further clarification). Current population figures put the world's population on course for 7.67 Billion humans on the planet in 2020. 70% of this number is 5.36 billion people with regular access and usage of the Internet and Cloud Computing technologies, greater than 200% increase in adoption in a decade. The internet is the growth market for the technology industry….the Internet adoption growth will "slow" in the next decade to slightly over 200% primarily in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.


World Regions


( 2009 Est.)

Internet Users

Dec. 31, 2000

Internet Users

Latest Data


(% Population)



Users %

of Table





6.8 %

1,392.4 %

3.9 %





19.4 %

545.9 %

42.6 %





52.0 %

297.8 %

24.1 %

Middle East




28.3 %

1,648.2 %

3.3 %

North America




74.2 %

134.0 %

14.6 %

Latin   America/Caribbean




30.5 %

890.8 %

10.3 %

Oceania /   Australia




60.4 %

175.2 %

1.2 %





25.6 %

380.3 %

100.0 %

Pasted from <http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm>

As usual there will be "super users" or "power users" within this group of over 5 billion who will require constant access to internet technologies, cloud computing, wireless networks and communication tools. Availability will be critical to serve these users as will the margins required to maintain the network availability for the scale of the less frequent users.

So what?: Have you ever attempted to architect a network to manage 500 million users on a wireless multi-national network? Cloud Computing, virtualization, security and mobile/remote energy infrastructures are requirements. Standards, scalable databases and WW data management standards are also required. Network availability, network scale and network responsive are key. The world is transitioning to digital infrastructures at a rate faster than all previous predictions…this next decade will be widely exciting.

6. Governments worldwide will become the largest Cloud Computing Infrastructures for human services. Economies of scale in managing governments worldwide dictate a rapid transition to paperless infrastructure. In addition, as governments worldwide clamor for more resources to provide more services (Joseph Schumpeter and Adam Smith may believe the market dictates innovation but they have yet to meet a government regulator who shares this view), their infrastructure will become increasingly dependant upon telecommunication networks to deliver the "Post" and less upon written notices or edicts. This will reduce fossil fuel consumption for letter carrying quasi-government entities worldwide, while easing the escalating cost infrastructures of governmental agencies. This does not reduce corruption, largesse and invasive government practices on a global basis but will be the 1st phase of governmental efficiencies through technology.

Duh? Factor: The US government's decision to become a large deployment of Cloud Computing technologies is not an easy effort. While we have a government identification system within the US, we have a done a singularly terrible job of using the social security and state identification systems  to their fullest benefit for the citizens who pay the taxes for these endeavors. Japan and the UK lead ahead of the US here in my opinion, but are far from "maximizing efficiencies". This next decade will be critical for government's to identify their strengths, maximize efficiencies, or in general lose their singular ability to fund these activities within the developed nations that face the most complex issues in the next 10 years. Simple access to government services you already pay for to protect your life, liberty, property and fidelity is not a privilege, it's a service and it is their chosen profession. Available access to government services is 24x7x365 endeavor because there is not a single nation in the world that sleeps at the same time.

5. The next decade will see the emergence of a software and Cloud Computing "super power" outside of the United States. I am not predicting a Chinese leader here, I am predicting the emergence of a company that does not exist today, that leads the market in their given market segment, one that eclipses the revenue of Google in 2009 (Approx. $23B), does not sell out to one the current "majors" (MSFT, GOOG, ORCL, SAP, IBM, BIDU) and develops a      programming language that eases the adoption internet technologies for 1 billion users (not emerging markets, emerging users).

How can I invest? Get in line. The best part of the technology industry is that Entrepreneurs emerge, the best and brightest find a way to be heard. It is very rare that nationality barriers keep strong companies from building strong teams. The question becomes for these young women and men is will they maintain the will to become an important part of the technology industry on a world stage. In any case, it will be fun to watch and work with this team.

4. The "Core War" will become paramount for silicon technology providers in the Cloud Computing marketplace. The Cloud Computing Center (C3) will be a battle for architectural supremacy that starts at the silicon innovation level. Pricing may be a factor, but innovation will hold the key. Government interventionists or not, the best products will win and 48-Core single socket systems with 32MB cache on-die with optical I/O infrastructures will not be the only innovations required to be a successful provider of silicon technologies in the next decade. Will Intel compete favorably? Of course, it is what we do and why we innovate. We are inherently competitive, paranoid and technically demanding of each other. However, technologies and instrumentation will become equally critical as virtualization, security, energy efficiency and bit integrity require software to function with maximized efficiency to serve maximum scale. Cloud Computing Devices (CCD) will emerge as a core growth market for developers and fortune 100 companies worldwide. These devices will have      higher levels of integrated security, management and performance features which simplify access, upload and scale for the C3 marketplace. Don't believe me? See how well you phone functions in the midst of a traffic jam or natural disaster with limited access to secure networks because your silicon lacks the capability to manage multiple protocol stacks across multiple spectrum. Availability matters, Core design matters, communication integration matters, manufacturing process technology matters and materials science matters.

Are you suggesting "Attack of the Cores"? Similar to Star Wars, when designing technology for Cloud Computing, we must design for scale across a     universe of technologies. In the next decade the term "out of the box experience" will become meaningless. The software that "ships"on your device at purchase will become obsolete within a year, your carrier, your company or you will upgrade/update the O/S to perform new instructions which are compatible but not designed specifically for the Core/Cores in which you are running. The security,virtualization, energy efficiency and visualization capabilities of this platform must also work or the software will be considered niche and unattractive to many.

3. Storage technologies hits the wall of innovation at 110-MPH. The current marketplace for storage has been growing based upon similar interfaces, voltage consumption and I/O standards for over a decade. The explosion of storage requirements for enterprises AND consumers devices will force the most rapid transition in the history of the almost 60-year old industry. A transition that will lead to a reduction of moving parts within ALL storage devices to nearly zero. A reduction of power consumption of up to 70% and increased Data Array intelligence, through QoS, VM Management and I/O optimizations. Overall, I am predicting a gross revenue gain of 10% CAGR for the decade on volume increases of 18-22% CAGR for the decade. I predict that their will margin acceleration north of 15% per annum of early innovators, while laggards will see operating expenses eclipse revenue and volume increases due to margin erosion. (Simplified: Winners win big, loser get punished)

If you hit a wall at 110-mph does it hurt? Yes it does. Seagate, among others, have a major problem with their power consumption of their current architecture. For Data Center managers and consumers alike traditional HDD technologies will have to change. Is Flash (NAND) technology the answer? Maybe if MTBF (Mean time between failure) can increase and management tools to insure availability of consumer AND enterprise devices keep pace. However, even the leaders of the new revolution Samsung and Intel are not immune the coming speed bumps. Storage is core to technology, it is capturing the history of our current, our past and our future civilization. The next decade will be a transformative one for these storage technologies as we transition into Cloud Computing. I'm not sure if Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas or James Cameron has it right but...it is going to fun showing the world and these social scientists(read Movie Directors) how to make it work in the real world.

2. The dawning of the "Solar Decade" is upon us. While government debate the importance of CO2 emissions and Carbon taxing threatens the "foundations" of business (according to Reuters). The message to business and consumer alike is clear. Reduce your carbon consumption or face financial penalties. Does this mean every human on the planet is going to be provided with a Carbon consumption target? No, that's ludicrous but not beyond discussion of fool-hardy academics. It does mean that as a human race we must examine the where, what, when and how that we consume unhealthy carbon emitting goods and services. We must re-examine our power consumption sources and push ourselves to digest more and more renewable energy. Wind is intermittent though definitely renewable, Water is consistent and reliable but not widely available on a global basis for Hydroelectric and Geothermal is typically remote or not widely available. So this leaves us with Solar power as the most obvious choice in the next decade to grow and be consumed at an accelerated rate. This next decade will see manufacturing process enhancements that will accelerate efficiencies beyond any of the other technologies. Silicon has become the most consistent, year after year, advancements in terms of innovation. The industry will adapt to lower cost supply, innovate the cabling, racking and shielding industry while monetizing the global government subsidies. This will be a decade long process but one we MUST be successful. This is not      just about life on this planet, these innovations will be a requirement for us to even begin to discuss viable space travel as a species. In my opinion: Availability of Solar power will become a driving force the building of next generation C3 facilities and powering remote Internet transmission central offices.

If Al Gore invented the internet, does this mean Barack Obama invented Solar power? The obvious answer is no. However, Abraham Lincoln didn't   invent civil rights but as the US President his position, legislative leadership and historical foundation have left an indelible impression upon the world. The US, Europe and China have the most to gain and the most to contribute to the world's environment through Solar innovation and incentive will begin here. A final thought on Solar availability: If the Sun doesn't insolate the human race everyday, we have much more to worry about as a species than Carbon taxes.

1. Cloud Computing, the Internet and Intel are inseparable. For the next decade, Intel's focus on manufacturing process technology, Core optimization, energy efficiency, virtualization, storage, I/O technologies and Visualization place us at the forefront of Cloud Computing. We can no more separate our company from its future than we can from Moore's Law. Do I wish we could compartmentalize our business and technologies? Yes, but unlike the NFL, NBA, FIFA and Major League baseball our "franchise" is open to close scrutiny worldwide. While we both have to put a "winning product" on the "field of competition" every year that has changing "players/components", the expectations to "win" are very high and the rewards equally high for our ecosystem of over 200,000 OEM, channels members, partners and suppliers. Cloud Computing and the Internet are the growth engines for Intel in the next decade, in my opinion. iPhones? Yes. Blackberry? Yes. Netbooks? Yes. Railway Systems? Yes. Medical Record Consolidation? Yes. Wi-Max? Yes. LTE? Yes. Google? Yes. Each and everyone of these similar and seemingly disparate applications drive growth for Intel. Each and every nation that adopts internet technologies around the world provides and opportunity for growth. For networks, computers, devices and the applications that run within them, availability is a critical factor in determining viability of product strength. For Intel, this will have to be a core part of our deliverables for the next decade.

What is Intel's Market cap in 2019? Great question. Ask Paul Otellini, our CEO at the end of 2009. Paul probably won't answer, he is too smart to make   crazy predictions like that. Andy Grove once asked a room full of my colleagues: " What is the most important question to ask? " to which someone replied " The 1st question!", as Andy shook his head in amazement at the ambitious (there is another term I was thinking)  young man he replied: "The question that leads you to the best answer". The next decade of innovation is going to transform our global economy and technology as we know it today. Intel will play an important role because we have the passion, the persistence, the resources and the competitive desire to be leaders in this future of available computing. I look forward to working with you all to ask the right questions that launch us towards our future.

Have a Happy New Decade! The past is behind us, the future is today, leave a better sunrise than the one you were given.