Leading up to the launch of our 45nm processors I was often asked "what does this technology mean to my business?" or "what does it mean to me as a consumer?" My usual responses of improved performance, better performance/watt and better price/performance were all very true. But as I write this I am challenged to find more depth to that response. The solutions that you, the technology industry, collectively deliver include software, hardware and luckily for Intel processors that are now based on 45nm technology. We are on a line that is sloping up and to the right with respect to being able to deliver more performance over time. But so what? How can we look at single points on that line and reflect on their significance?
There are a number of examples where things start our revolutionary and simply evolve from there; flying, combustion engine automobile travel, the Internet, One day you walked/wagon/horse from place to place the next day you drove. One day you drove, the next day you flew. One day you wrote a letter, the next day an email. All of these had some groundwork that lead up to them for sure, but the new normal existed the day they became ubiquitous. Writing letters, putting a stamp on it and dropping it in a mailbox is now a lost art that we teach kids while we also explain to them what cassette tapes, rabbit ears and wired Ethernet are.
When was there enough performance, with low enough power and at a low enough price point for me to buy a handheld global positioning sensor unit that I can use to go geocaching with my kids? Clearly it wasn't ten years ago since I suspect the device may have existed for the military but wasn't quite portable enough for me or at a low enough price point to catch my eye. I am sure everyone can remember the first cell phones which looked like a car battery with a phone stuck on top. There are countless examples of points on a price/perf/power curve that lead to evolutionary or revolutionary products that change the way people live, work or play.
These new 45nm components are compelling and surely enterprise customers are going to find that they can run databases faster, develop software quicker and process transactions faster. Financial services companies will use these new products to execute faster trades. That in turn will allow them to win share against their competitors who are slower and it will reflect on their bottom line. Oil and gas companies will use these new products to more efficiently search for, locate and model the size of energy reserves. Search companies will use these products to ranks pages, target online consumers and drive advertising based commerce. Those things are evolutionary and allow companies to improve what they are already doing.
What are the revolutionary things that we will look back on and say "without the price/perf/watt that 45nm processors delivered in November 2007 xxx would not be possible?" Are you working on it? The technologies we develop are constantly looking to improve the present while also keeping an eye on the future. They are optimized for you, the developers and consumers, because quite frankly we are fascinated with what you are doing today and very interested in what you are going to do tomorrow with all of the high performing low power products that we are launching this month.
One last thing, if you're working on the next Google like revolutionary online platform drop me a note. I might want to alter my investment strategy J