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Intel CEO talks Apple, water-cooled PCs, carbon nanotubes

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, in a wide-ranging Reddit AMA, addresses Moore's Law, tablets, overclocking, and carbon nanotubes, among other topics.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich used to build his own PCs. He said he built one of the first water-cooled PCs, which he overclocked to beyond 4GHz.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich used to build his own PCs. He said he built one of the first water-cooled PCs, which he overclocked to beyond 4GHz. Intel

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich responded to questions about Apple, building his own PCs, and future tech at Intel in a Reddit AMA on Wednesday.

On Apple: "We've always had a very close relationship with Apple, and it continues to grow closer. Sure [it's] grown close over the years especially since...they started to use our technology in their systems."

Along these lines -- though Krzanich didn't address it -- market researcher IC Insights posted a research note earlier in the month suggesting that Intel should cut a deal with Apple for its idle Fab 42 plant in Chandler, Ariz.

On building his own PC: "I used to build my own PCs and actually had one of the first water-cooled overclocked [PCs] around. I ran it at over 4GHz, and this was back in 2001, but alas I do not have the time for that fun anymore."

On new devices: Currently I am using...a wristwatch that tracks your biometrics like heart rate, pace steps. It's interesting. I change regularly so I can understand the experience and what would make me want the device to be a part of my life."

On tablets: "We sold ~12 million tablets last year and our target is 40 million plus this year."

On the end of Moore's Law: "In my 30 years I think I have seen the forecasted end of Moore's Law at least 5 or 6 times, so I tend to be a skeptic when people say it will end. At any one point we can typically see about 10 years out with pretty good clarity in the 3 to 5 years and much less clarity 5 to 10 years. But so far in that 10-year horizon we don't see anything that says it will end in that time frame."

Note that Moore's Law states that the number of transistors doubles approximately every two years.

On missing mobile: "We wanted the world of computing to stop at PCs, and the world, as it never does, didn't stop innovating. The new CEO of Microsoft, Satya [Nadella], said it well the other day. Our industry does not respect tradition, it respects innovation. I think he was 100 percent right and it's why we missed the mobile move."

On where the personal device is headed: "There is an overall trend in computing that has been going on for 30+ years that computing is becoming smaller, lighter, more portable, and more and more connected. Think about it. It went from mainframes to desktops to laptops to tablets and phones. It won't stop there. Everyone who thinks it will stop is wrong. It just keeps going down that curve driven by Moore's Law."

On the future of chips: Graphene, "carbon nanotubes [and] other 3-5 materials will become very important to semiconductors over the next few years. they will allow us to lower leakage and power, while reducing geometries."