Budgetary pressures and the need for customers to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) will drive convergence between communications and computing, according to chip giant Intel.
Senior vice president Mike Fister told delegates at the Intel Developers' Forum that a modular infrastructure that mixes wired and wireless networks with servers, storage and client devices would reduce IT operating costs and increase flexibility.
"The internet continues to drive the convergence of communications and traditional computing, and it's changing the way IT managers set up their enterprise infrastructure," he said.
"When spending is down, chief information officers will spend money on things that generate ROI. Scalability is another mega concern they have."
But he warned that standards were vital in meeting the needs of enterprise customers.
"Workers can connect anywhere, any time and in any way," explained Fister. "If IT is truly a competitive tool, then secure and standards-based modular deployment strategies are a great way to stay ahead of the competition."
The company claimed that silicon will be the driving engine behind convergence.
President Paul Otellini told delegates: "We are on the cusp of creating exciting new technologies that allow all computers to communicate and all communication devices to compute.
"This will be fuelled by silicon advances that enable new levels of integration."
Intel also plans to introduce its MP Xeon chip for multi-processor platforms, codenamed Gallatin, later this year.
Meanwhile, the chip maker has claimed that the next member of the Itanium 2 processor family, codenamed Madison and due to ship in the summer of 2003, will bring 30 to 50 per cent performance gains.
It is compatible with existing processors, platforms, chipsets and software.
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