Intel’s increasing focus on wireless technologies won’t include the production of radio frequency identification (RFID) chips, company president and chief operating officer, Paul Otellini, told Forrester Research’s Executive Strategy conference.
The chipmaker had invested a great deal in wireless technologies such as 802.11 and silicon radios, but any company wanting to manufacture RFID chips to help retailers and logistics organisations track products would have to make those chips with extremely low costs in order to build adoption, he said.
“We won’t jump into that penny-a-chip (market),” Otellini said. “It will take a lot of units to make serious money.”
Intel’s role in advancing the use of specialised wireless networks such as RFID chips and sensors would be to power the servers and PCs that access and analyse the data collected by those chips, Otellini said.
Forrester’s conference focused on the rise of the extended Internet, which it defined as devices and software that connected digital networks with physical assets such as inventory or distribution vehicles.
RFID chips are thought to be on track to supplant the bar code as the standard for inventory tracking, but backers of the technology have several privacy and cost concerns to overcome before that shift takes place.
Otellini addressed several aspects of the wireless world during his speech to conference attendees.
He expressed support for US Federal Communications Commission chairman, Michael Powell, and his strategy with regards to wireless spectrum.
Otellini said world governments should decide what spectrum was needed for military purposes and free up the rest for commercial use.
Because the band of spectrum used by wireless fidelity devices was unregulated, the technology had become “a viral growth phenomenon,” Otellini said.
Intel’s work in bringing PC performance to wireless handsets would also help drive adoption of wireless standards and applications, he said.