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Intel President James on wearable tech, Microsoft partnership

Agam Shah | Sept. 11, 2013
James is laying the groundwork for Quark chips to succeed in areas such as eye wear, personalized medicine and cloud services.

After calculators, PCs and mobile phones, Intel is now jumping into wearable devices with an extremely low-power chip called Quark, which was big news at the company's annual Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. Leading the charge into the new market is Intel's new leadership team consisting of CEO Brian Krzanich and President Renee James, who also articulated on plans to achieve fast growth in the mobile market while trying to reinvigorate PC sales.

It's been an especially busy few months for James, who became Intel's president on May 2 after running the company's software unit as executive vice president and general manager of the software and services group. She is laying the groundwork for Quark chips to succeed in areas such as eye wear, personalized medicine and cloud services. In an interview with the IDG News Service, she talked about the wearable market, Quark and partner relationships.

IDGNS: Where do you see the wearable market going?

James: I think it's way beyond wearables, I think it's about integrated computing. I don't think we know the boundaries of that. The silicon patch -- the thought of just ripping something off like a band-aid, putting it on your arm, your doctor being able to know what your vitals are at that moment, that sounds like science fiction, but it's real. That's where we are at. That's today's outer boundary of where we are going with computing.

IDGNS: When do you see integrated computing becoming a practical market for Intel?

James: For Intel it is a practical market right now, we have different products and platforms that are being developed. That is why we introduced Quark. We believe in the things that you saw -- they are not three, five or ten years out, they are in the next 12 to 18 months.

IDGNS: Will you sell wearables directly to consumers? Intel is already planning to launch a TV service.

James: We tend to believe that our business model is best helping other people build things. It's in these really highly integrated designs, you need to build one to know that everything is working systemically. We tend to build reference platforms, and we're going to stick with that.

IDGNS: Quark is really low-power, but will it replace the Atom platform?

James: No. It's the low Atom. You should think of Core, Atom, Quark. I love the Quark name, it's so nerdy and funny. Quark is intended to look below Atom. It's 10 times more power efficient, and it's five times smaller. Atom is teeny, Quark is the smallest thing we've ever built.

IDGNS: Intel and low-power still raise a question mark today. How will Intel achieve low-power on Quark?

 

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