The Future Is Wide Open

The best way for developers to solve the world’s problems is through an open ecosystem that supports their needs.




By Greg Lavender

Technology has the power to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Even when we run into problems that cannot be solved by a single company or architecture, as a society, we persevere.

Fostering an open ecosystem is the foundation of our approach at Intel. Open innovation, open platforms and horizontal competition offer choice and build trust. An open ecosystem helps lower complexity and improve productivity, portability and performance so developers can focus on creating innovative solutions. It also enables many different players, including Intel, to disrupt and create new markets.

Last year in his Open Letter to an Open Ecosystem, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger wrote: “Innovation thrives in an open, democratized environment where people can connect, communicate, and respond together to new stimuli.” Earlier this year, I outlined Intel’s software strategy. At Intel Vision, we introduced new software and service models.

Ahead of our upcoming Intel Innovation event, I want to provide further context as to why this is the right direction for the developer community, our customers and partners, and the ecosystem at large.

Open Accelerated Computing

We no longer live in a world of monolithic computing architectures. To compensate for the multitude of architecture and hardware types, software has grown modular. Based on the task at hand, today’s developers routinely jump among interfaces, software stacks and the best hardware to handle it.

Decentralized and distributed services offer incredible opportunities for developers to deliver innovative and efficient solutions, but it comes with increased complexity.

To help developers increase productivity and improve time-to-value, we invest in tools like Intel® oneAPI that embrace the modular approach to optimize and accelerate heterogeneous workloads across the latest hardware. Helping developers more efficiently code and get to market faster, oneAPI provides a single programming model with a complete set of cross-architecture libraries, tools and frameworks using familiar languages and standards. Additional tools farther up the stack, like the Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit, support software development, improve deployment time and ease high-performance deep learning from edge to cloud​.

These Intel tools remove code barriers and allow interoperability with existing technology investments. They ease portability for developers and create a model for developers to offer applications at scale. When you build on top of Intel technology at the solutions, services and platform layers, these tools can pull the full platform potential through to the application and workload level. This is a critical advantage only Intel can deliver to the developer community.

Openness Drives Innovation

While complexity is demanding, we face another challenge. Many software stacks have become proprietary, verticalized systems designed to lock in developers. At Intel, we believe this way of operating stifles developer opportunity and innovation. Our commitment to the open ecosystem allows for greater collaboration across both open source and proprietary systems.

Intel believes an open ecosystem with support for open source, open software, open standards, open policy and open competition creates a horizontal playing field where innovation thrives. A recent example of this work includes our contributions to the jointly authored paper describing an 8-bit floating point specification to provide a common format that works for both AI training and inference. We aim to make it easy for developers to choose the Intel software they run on Intel hardware, and we have designed these technologies to display the highest levels of performance and quality on the market.  

Intel software is a differentiator in the platform experience. We take a complete systems architecture approach to optimize the hardware capabilities up the software stack and across the ecosystem.

Living in the Open Ecosystem

At Intel, we don’t just talk about openness, we live it. As advocates for an open ecosystem, we prioritize community engagement through global research collaboration led by Intel Labs and initiatives like Intel Ignite, a global startup growth program that leverages Intel's vast resources to help early-stage technology companies succeed.

We have 19,000 software engineers on our team. And our engineers contribute to hundreds of open source projects, release tools we develop and design to the open source community and are the largest corporate contributor to the Linux kernel. Initiatives such as these also inform our continuous learning and help us meet evolving needs across industries.

The world’s computing demand, needs and resources continue to grow. Intel is leading the way toward a new frontier of collaboration, combining our unique strengths in hardware with a commitment to a strong, open software ecosystem. We understand that tomorrow’s most effective software will stretch across CPUs, GPUs, IPUs, FPGAs, ASICs and others, and provide optimizations so every application will run better, faster and more securely on Intel.

Ultimately, our job is to create the most dynamic, portable and extensible platform. An open ecosystem is just the start.

Intel Innovation: Hear from Greg Lavender and other Intel leaders at Intel Innovation on Sept. 27-28. For more information, visit the Intel Innovation 2022 press kit.

Greg Lavender is senior vice president, chief technology officer and general manager of the Software and Advanced Technology Group at Intel Corporation.