Jim Brinker, president and general manager for Intel Federal as well as a 2022 Wash100 Award recipient, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz regarding the latest technology trends that are influencing government agencies as they work to implement zero-trust architecture and address the current set of challenges surrounding data security.
In addition, the three-time Wash100 winner also discussed his latest growth objectives and partnerships to drive Intel Federal forward for the rest of 2022 as well as the challenge of staying ahead of innovation in the federal space during the latest Executive Spotlight interview.
“The sense of urgency around passing and implementing the CHIPS Act is all about the reality of trying to assure the US supply of microelectronics. If we started today, we wouldn’t have a state of the art foundry built for at least 2 – 3 years. It’s a very unique time and the next 12 months for the federal government will be absolutely essential to drive the next 20 years.”
You can read the full interview with Jim Brinker below:
ExecutiveBiz: What are your strategic goals for the coming year and how have recent partnerships assisted Intel expand its position in the federal marketplace?
Jim Brinker: “2022 is a critical year for Intel in the federal space. Our purpose is to create world-changing technology and capabilities that enrich the lives of every person on the planet. We take that very seriously. We’ve had a number of developments over the last year and a lot of our focus has been on our supply chains.
It’s been critical for Intel to focus on the role the United States is playing in the microelectronics space. Our CEO Patrick Gelsinger has encouraged all of us to come in and create a torrid pace and become THE strategic technology partner to the federal government.
That’s a big challenge from where we are today to where we need to reach as far as our strategic goals are concerned. We need to drive harder and create strategic partnerships moving forward to enable Intel technology in the U.S. government space.
Looking at our growth strategy, Intel has a number of distinct technologies and products. Our objective is to leverage our capabilities in datacenter, artificial intelligence, the cloud, the internet of things (IoT), software, and more and develop a more focused set of solutions to meet our customer’s needs.
As we’re moving forward with the federal government and their programmatic activities, Intel has been partnering with the federal government directly in research and development projects as well as with DARPA, the Department of Energy and the National Labs.
We see this work evolving more through partnerships with the defense industrial base (DIB). Our ability at Intel to strategically partner with key systems integrators will provide those overall solutions for the government.
Intel has been looking closely at the recent CHIPS Act. We’re looking for this legislation to pass as soon as possible and when it does, Intel will continue to build out the U.S.-based microelectronics infrastructure.
From the Intel perspective, we see that as an opening for significant opportunities in public and private partnerships to provide what the DoD refers to as the Lab to Fab strategy and our ability to really develop solutions for the government’s most important missions.
If you look at everything that Intel has accomplished over the past 12 months or so, we created something that we’re calling ‘IDM 2.0,’ which is the next generation of integrated device manufacturing. This allows us to design and build our own products as well as leverage our capabilities and become a commercial foundry. That’s the baseline where we see a lot of growth coming soon.”
ExecutiveBiz: With federal agencies working to implement the latest trends in technology such as AI, 5G, cloud and many others, what are your thoughts on the success and challenges that government agencies are dealing with to stay ahead of innovation to establish the U.S. as THE global leader?
Jim Brinker: “Some of the key elements of the latest technology trends include all the big names, including artificial intelligence. We’re very focused on 5G and the cloud. A lot of this is networking at the edge to cloud as well as intelligence at the edge. Intel is laser focused in all of those areas as we move forward.
A significant advantage for Intel will be realized as we combine some of those technologies with our key software elements to develop more solutions for the government as opposed to just being a component supplier for them.
A major thing that the federal government is dealing with today is the whole aspect of cybersecurity within federal agencies and the various levels of security that may be needed, which includes everything from commercial security to the highest level of security that might be required.
With the pandemic, supply chain assurance and how to ensure we can get the microelectronic components needed has also been a major issue. Both of these requirements coming together at the same time has created a real opportunity for Intel, as the only US based microelectronics company.
The ability to supply the U.S. with microelectronics is at the forefront of the government’s mind and that’s a huge aspect of what the CHIPS Act is meant to address. I think the level of security enabled by it is something that could be unique to the federal government.
It’s not a one size fits all. There needs to be various levels of security. They really need to complement one another as you implement the technology and Intel is very focused on the level of work and process to see that through.”
ExecutiveBiz: With zero-trust technology becoming a major focal point moving forward, what can you tell us about the difficulties of implementing zero-trust architectures and focusing on data security?
Jim Brinker: “At the end of the day, it’s your trust that’s most useful across the full spectrum of commercial, government, and military applications. I think one of the key challenges is that the technology always moves so quickly and you have to look at how you’re building in security within both state of the art capabilities and legacy systems.
In the beginning, there was a very strong disconnect between the Department of Defense and the other various agencies in terms of security requirements. More recently, we’ve seen a coming together around complementing models and the different levels of security.
The idea of supply chain security is spread across a number of different aspects. You have standard commercial security. You have quantifiable assurance that can be utilized for additional DOD level security, and then you may move even up to the higher levels of security that could be used for mission specific applications. The key will be to find ways to implement them in a cost-effective and complementary model.
I think the key is to start with an intelligent edge and go all the way through the cloud. You can even throw Space capabilities into this. There will be different levels of security and you will need different levels of communication as well.
The key will be taking a holistic approach to look at things from the edge all the way to the cloud for a full spectrum view of what you have in place. You marry these technologies to create more solutions and drive that forward.
That’s what the federal government is looking at today with some of the programs like JADC2 or others that address these issues. Intel is focused on marrying our technologies to help the federal government accomplish that as soon as possible.
The speed bump is that in today’s environment, you can’t just scrap everything and start all over again, which is honestly one of the biggest challenges the government is dealing with now. The government needs to find an evolutionary path forward, which is the challenge, and one that Intel is uniquely positioned to support and provide the solutions to accomplish these necessary goals.”