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Klein: Wind River is better than usual

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Wind River Intel deal? software? processor?

It most is definitely not "business as usual;" it is "better than usual," according to Wind River president Ken Klein.

Klein was talked to EE Times during a whirlwind tour of Wind River facilities globally following the closure of the deal that sees the OS and tool developer company becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corp. in the processor giant's Software and Services Group.

The move made quite a stir when it was announced earlier this year after what Klein described as a "year-long courtship."

"Perhaps the most important thing from a strategic point of view has been to ensure that we remain and are seen as an independent unit within the Intel set-up," said Klein.

That is because "one of the main concerns that has been raised is our commitment to non-Intel silicon. Ironically, with the investment from Intel, we have managed to increase engagements with existing partners such as Freescale, NEC, RMI and Cavium. I think we have proven already our commitment to silicon neutrality," said Klein.

The big picture strategy, Klein asserts, is to build a silicon neutral software franchise within Intel. "Our model is IBM, which typically generates 20 percent of its revenues but 40 percent of its profits from software."

The "shared vision" is that the Software and Services division, which has been a cost center and enabling center within Intel shifts to becoming a profit center. "We will be working on more joint projects, but more importantly, we will help Intel commercialize and monetize its investments in software."

Klein added the benefits of the deal are already coming through on the bottom line. "We get access to Intel's amazing channels, reach, resources, brand, all of which leads to the possibility for much larger value transactions and engagements as customers have more confidence in working with us."

And the driver for Intel? "Clearly, they will be able to optimize their silicon for our software. While there have been valuable partnerships between us in the past, as separate, independent companies we could not have done that in any meaningful way. And we will most definitely be able to help them in their strategy to diversify away from the core PC processor business and into the embedded and mobile space."

On the business side, Klein said the company is seeing significant deals coming through in the mobile and automotive segments, as well as in aerospace and defense. However, networking is still a work in progress, he said.

Klein added that with the progress and new opportunities, he can see can the company hiring engineering talent, especially in the areas of mobile and automotive. And, while it is "way too soon to declare the downturn over, I see a thaw, we are coming out of the deep freeze, and customers are beginning to spend," he added.

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