“The Future of Chipped Intelligence”
A Conversation with Justin Rattner, CTO and Senior Fellow; and VP and Director, Intel Labs; Intel Corp.; hosted by Mark Anderson
MA: What’s your general view of 3-5 years from now?
JR: This is a really interesting time at every level. Continue to push Moore’s law. 3d chips and adding shape to get more transistors per square inch. Opens up a new range of opps for tech, device development. Not we’re going in Z. A much broader range of material options become possible. Si is now the substrate on whihc many other things can be done. Using buffer layers to put down v. hihg quality material. It’s a time of tremendous change.
MA: Now able to use new techniques in all stages of building and construction.
JR: Actually pattern far below the wavelength of the light. Use massive amounts of computation and some of the biggest computers on the planet work 24/7 computing masks, pre-distort the image and correct defects. Now starting to use multiple masks per layer, largely to put off move to x-ray lithography. But that’s years away. They’ve gone to immersion lithography, which means they’re wet, but people keep finding ways to extend traditional lithography.
“We’re almost there and work continues.” As long as they’re able to eke out another 30 years, they’ll stick with what they’ve got. This is a time of tremendous change. Back in the 60s. We haven’t stabilized and found tech platform that will carry Intel for several decades.
MA: What’s awhile?
JR: Generation is a 2-year cycle. Can generally see about 6-10 years out. WOrk is going on right now to figure out what that tech will look like 8-10 yrs from now. We’ve never been able to see further, but we’re not worried.
MA: Never been more competition than now. Pressures for specialization, wireless chips. How does competitive landscape feel?
JR: With the advent of smartphones, tablets, computing landscape is changing dramatically. More uncertainty there than at the chip level. The shift for intel is from the PC centric view of the world to the computing continuum — an ever increasing range of devices that include automobiles, computers, tablets, etc. Information environment is penetrating eveything. Big change for Intel. Made an announcement last week about biggest roadmap change ever — That was Intel saying this is not your father’s PC. User delight, user experience. Internet devices have raised our expectation about the quality of the experience. Intel will reset the watt target, change the way they think about displays and always on model, unplugging on a second by second model to save battery life.
PC industry really resisted instant on, but now we want it absolutely. Many technologies are coming back to life. Within the next year or two, the PC experience will feel much more like the device experience. Driven by smartphone experiences.
Growing presence of flash memory has a lot to do with device ability to wake up quickly.
MA: If we look at the world you just described, if I were you, I’d create interdependencies for chip families. Are youw orking on that?
JR: Yeah, its a continuum view. How can we take advantage of technologies in a harware and service sense, so that yas you move from device to device, platform to platform, there’s a continuity of experience. We have to translate that into hardware and software.
MA; You purchased Macafee. ONe of the benefits I see in that is device security of a level that wasn’t there before — new version of trusted computing. Is there a synergy to having this happen on an intel chip?
JR: Weve really shifted posture on security. Paul was on TV: security is now the 3rd leg of the stool next to performance. He’s very serious about this. Developing security platforms that will be top-to-bottom at Intel. Many of these ID tags are at the server level. ONe game changing thing from a tech POV is the notion of zero day defense. — using something that hasn’t been exposed yet, so there’s no cure for it yet by security. You don’t even have to be that clever eg. Op Aurora, which took things off Google servers. You can change just a few bits and antivirus software will never see it. Signature-based methods are 30-yrs-old. Nothing is thwarting IP attacks. We threw out all assumptions and took this out of software and put it in hardware. Zero day defense does not rely on signatures, but can detect stuxxnet, aurora, etc. We’ve run millions of attacks against the architecture and it stops all of them. We detect right at point of insertion. Within milliseconds, that can go up to the cloud. Shipping still a few years away. Billions of devices who don’t have capability will be instantly informed.
Have architectures that insert brokers, who talk to servers and devices are legitimate identities. Certificate exchange and then they step back.
Part of the problem is that network guys have view that security is port to port. Computer industry really sees this as end to end security, client to client or server to server. We need to authenticate and credential that entire path, which is creating a problem.
Steven Sprague: Beginnning of identity-centric model of computing as opposed to connection-centric model. Process that will change is how we register a device with a server.
JR: How do we regulate continuously? Finding a balance between id and privacy has proved elusive. We’re closer to resolving those issues, but ID is a foundational element.