The vice president and general manager of Intel’s Fab/Sort manufacturing site in Chandler said in a speech last week that the company’s vision through the end of the decade is to “create and extend computing technology to connect and enrich the lives of every person on Earth.”
At the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort, Douglas Davis spoke March 19 during a luncheon sponsored by the Economic Club of Phoenix, a member-based organization that connects the business community with experts and educators from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.
During the speech, Davis detailed the history of Intel’s processors and some of the direction the company is heading.
“By the year 2020 we should be able to this,” he said of that vision.
Davis, a 1992 graduate of the W.P. School, said the extension of computing will include providing everyone with the ability to get on the internet and access information and educational opportunities.
“Not just mature and emerging economies,” he said. “We see that there’s an opportunity to touch everybody at the pace technology is advancing and developing.”
Davis said that Intel, which is nearing completion on a $5 billion expansion to its Chandler facility, is the largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world. Although the company is largely known for its microprocessors, it is also developing products in networking and communications.
“Not just computing but the ability to connect computing to the rest of the world” is Intel’s scheme, Davis said.
Davis said that with 167 sites in 63 countries, 572 buildings and $54 billion in revenue last year that Intel is poised to continue leading its industry.
One way Intel maintains leadership is by concentrating closely on being profitable and building 25 consecutive years of positive net income.
The company also has more than 100, 000 employees worldwide, who have logged 5 million volunteer hours over as many years.
One of the company’s strongest manufacturing philosophies is its adherence to “Moore’s Law.” Davis said.
Gordon Moore, an Intel founder, observed a scaling effect in 1965 that the number of transistors on a chip will double about every two years.
“We’ve become the stewards of Moore’s Law over the years,” Davis said, pointing out that Intel has reduced the size of its transistors to 22 nanometers in 2011 from 180 nanometers in 1999.
With its Tri-gate technology, the company made three-dimensional chips to hold more transistors and increase computing power to even higher levels while reducing power.
Each transistor consists of only 100 atoms of silicon.
“It allows us to put more complexity onto these chips,” Davis said.
The chips are so effective that each transistor can turn off and on more than 100 billion times per second.
“If I want to stand at a light switch and turn it on and off a hundred-billion times, I need to do that for about 2,000 years,” Davis said.
Each unit is so small it costs about the same as one printed letter in a news article, Davis said. He also said Intel’s competitors are two to four years behind in creating similar technologies.
Davis said that besides its technology, Intel is a leader because of its integrity. The company has remained a “integrated device manufacturer,” Davis said, meaning it creates products used by several companies that compete with each other but that Intel does not compete with any of its buyers.
Davis pointed out how Apple and Samsung will sometimes make components for competitors’ devices while also creating competing products.
Davis also stressed the importance of providing an educated workforce to take on the jobs that continuing the advancement technology requires.
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