Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, delivered the opening keynote address at CES 2018 last night, and he began by addressing the 5-ton elephant in the room.
Krzanich’s keynote presentation was entitled “How Data is Shaping Innovation of the Future,” and that is the presentation he delivered. But right at the start, he interrupted himself almost immediately to address the Meltdown and Spectre security threats.
“The collaboration among so many companies to address this industry-wide issue across several different processor architectures has been truly remarkable,” Krzanich told the CES audience. “Security is job number one for Intel and our industry. So the primary focus of our decisions and our discussions have been to keep our customer’s data safe.”
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich delivered the CES 2018 opening keynote presentation.
Krzanich repeated Intel’s assertion that so far, the company has not received any reports that either exploit has been used to obtain customer data. “And,” he added, “we are working tirelessly on these issues to ensure it stays that way.”
Still, Krzanich recommended that users apply updates from their OS vendors and system manufacturers as soon as they become available.
Intel is taking action, he said. For its products introduced in the last 5 years, the company expects to issue updates for more than 90% of them in the next week, and for the remaining 10% by the end of the month, Krzanich said.
“We believe the performance impact of these updates is highly workload-dependent,” he added. “As a result, we expect some workloads may have a larger impact than others. So we’ll continue working with the industry to minimize the impact on those workloads over time.”
Since the Meltdown and Spectre security threats were reported earlier this month, Intel has been doing its best to respond.
On Jan. 3, the company publicly said it was looking into the issue, but that it believed the exploits “do not have the potential to corrupt, modify or delete data.”
On the following day, Jan. 4, Intel said it was working with partners and had already issued some patches and firmware updates. That same day, Intel added that industry tests from Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google had found “little to no performance impact.”
Intel also held a conference call with investors to discuss the security exploits on Jan. 3. Among other things, Intel pointed out that these “side-channel analysis exploits” affect not only systems based on Intel CPUs, but also those based on ARM and AMD processors. Intel also told investors that they should expect mitigation of the exploits to continue over the next several weeks.
But most of Krzanich’s keynote address at CES 2018 had nothing to do with Meltdown and Spectre. He instead focused on exciting new developments around data, stating that “data is going to introduce social and economic changes that we only see perhaps once or twice in a century.”
Intel estimates that by the year 2020, the average person will be generating 1.5 GB of data per day. The average car will generate 4 TB per day. And the average connected factory will generate 1 petabyte (trillion bytes) per day.
During his CES keynote presentation, Krzanich was joined by industry leaders to demo new Intel-powered developments in art, sports, movies, quantum computing, self-driving cars and more.
At the end of his presentation, Krzanich, dressed casually in a tieless button-down blue shirt, held up an Intel Shooting Star Mini Drone, which can be safely flown indoors.
The CES audience was then treated to a presentation of 100 drones lighting up the Park Theater like shooting stars, accompanied by a remix of the hit song “Stargazing,” which begins, “We’ve been meteoric even before this.”