Intel outlines plans for wireless and P2P

Top executives from Intel Corp. outlined the company's plans Wednesday for encouraging and speeding the development of sophisticated wireless applications and of peer-to-peer computing, and announced the release of new products aimed at these two markets during the Intel Developer Forum event here.

Ron Smith, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's wireless computing and communications group, and Mark Christensen, vice president and general manger of Intel's network communications group, took the stage and called on telecommunications companies to provide advanced services via packet-based networks, which allow for the transmission of voice, data and video. The development of new wireless applications and peer-to-peer computing hinges on the creation and use of these networks, they said.

Intel announced seven new optical networking semiconductors to support its IXA network architecture for packet-based communications. The new semiconductors are designed to help speed data transfer over large networks, support a number of network protocols and could quicken the creation of the new wireless applications, executives said. The semiconductors should give developers more flexibility when creating applications for the IXA architecture, they added.

Intel claims IXA's flexibility will allow developers to change applications as technology evolves. As bandwidth increases at a steady rate, Intel wants carriers to use its chips for handling the heavy amounts of information generated by users of packet-based networks. In addition, the chip behemoth will make hardware designed to handle streaming video and other data-intensive mobile applications.

Intel also released version 3.0 of its Persistent Storage Manger (PSM) flash memory software. Coupled with Intel's StrataFlash Memory, the new software is designed to allow a device to store large media files. Intel expects this technology will complement multimedia wireless applications.

Pat Gelsinger, vice president and chief technology officer at Intel, also held session Wednesday, championing peer-to-peer computing, popularized by file-sharing company Napster Inc.

"Until Napster, I don't think any of us really shifted our view," Gelsinger said.

Intel is convinced that peer-to-peer computing will be central to the future of the computing industry, and is thus determined to provide products for this market, including peer-to-peer applications, he said.

"It will take several years to deliver, but we will try to deliver very specific technologies in the next year to address these problems," Gelsinger said.

Gelsinger demanded that companies work together now to ensure that a communication foundation for peer-to-peer exists which is secure, open and adaptable.

Gelsinger slung harsh words toward Sun Microsystems Inc.'s recent announcement of its peer-to-peer plans via the Jxta programming language it wants to develop with partners.

"Sun was very sketchy on the details of what it is doing," he said. "They have a small, proprietary club working on it. Sun announced Jxta as their attempt to control the P2P community."

Sun will release Jxta under the Apache license, making it open to others for modification on an open source model of development. This, however, did little to quell Gelsinger's fears that peer-to-peer computing may be taken over.

So while Intel and Microsoft benefitted from closed architectures during the PC heyday, Intel now says that peer-to-peer companies should develop a foundation from which everyone can benefit.

Intel, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at +1-408-987-8080 or

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