Net will need 20-fold increase in servers, says Intel CEO

Well, there's a happy coincidence. More server farms, quick!

Intel CEO Craig Barrett reckons that the Internet is going to need 20 times as many servers as it has now in five years time. And he also reckons that the number of Internet users will increase sixfold, to 1 billion in five years time. You no doubt spotted the strange imbalance there, and figured out all by yourself how happy a man that makes Barrett. Clearly he's anticipating a disproportionately large increase in the volume of stuff each user is going to be taking delivery of across the Internet, and is therefore becoming even keener on deploying vast Intel server farms to pick up the load. That's one of the upsides for Intel. Another, says Barrett, is the happy appearance of the free computer phenomenon. Sign up with an ISP, and you'll get a computer. This of course is a nerve-jangling prospect for PC manufacturers and ISPs who're operating on razor-thin or negative margins, but it's cool for Chipzilla. Even if somebody buys up the entire WinChip excess inventory and shoves it into set-top boxes, Intel will still be there afterwards to sell the chips for free PCs. And they don't make WinChips any more. Oh, and one last nugget from the wit and wisdom of Mr. Barrett. He predicts a move towards consumer-oriented PC designs, and 'instant on' machines. So although (Check the story) Intel pulled the plugs on its instant on Kahneeta reference platform recently, as the Web site says, it's working on a sucessor, so watch this space. ®

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