Intel is confident that the proliferation of data-collecting sensors in the internet of things will prove "the biggest inflection point in IT we've seen for years", and is pitching its new Quark chip to take advantage this, according to the company's VP of software and service, Doug Fisher.
The Quark chip - a tiny chip with the processing power of a 486 processor - was unveiled earlier this month, with wearable devices identified as a prime target market. But at Oracle OpenWorld, Fisher said Intel is also aiming the technology at the business market.
He said Intel is "investing in this kind of technology because we expect it to be deployed in the industrial internet; the internet of things. That's absolutely what we expect. So we're investing to be a part of that. We're expecting five billion connected endpoints by 2020: Intel's going to be a part of that."
Fisher said the Quark chip would provide a 10x reduction in power use and a 5x reduction in size compared with existing solutions, adding that by powering the sensors underpinning the internet of things, the chip would help "to drive big data into the stratosphere".
"Having zetabytes of data that you can mine for value; you have to sift through it, and decide what can provide value for customers," said Fisher.
"Mobile phones are absolutely a part of that," said Fisher, but it's sensors that are going to prove the real difference."
According to Fisher, General Electric now installs 23 sensors on jet engines, that deliver 1TB of data each on a daily basis. Boeing, meanwhile, gathers 640TB of data everyday across its fleet, largely for maintenance purposes.
"It's about the seen versus the unseen," Fisher said. "This is the unseen, which is not consumer visible, but a lot of the time I think that's a lot bigger than what you'll see as a consumer. I think the internet of things and these sensors are going to be the biggest inflection point for IT we've seen in years, because they can bring business now.
"You have to change the mindset if you run an IT company as to how you'll extract information, and while doing that, learn how to extract value."
Is your business investing in the internet of things to capitalise on big data or improve efficiency? Or do you believe the internet of things is just a lot of vendor hype? Leave your comments below.