Intel sees opportunities in wind, electric cars

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Technology giant Intel Corp is seeing big opportunities in wind forecasting for power generation, and in information management for electric vehicles, John Skinner, Intel’s director of marketing for its Eco-Technology division said on Tuesday.

Intel already sells microprocessors to wind turbine manufacturers and this would be an expansion of that business.

Adoption of wide-scale wind power would rely on accurate forecasting, such as when the wind would blow and how fast, he said.

“There’s a lot of opportunities for sensor technology and high performance computing,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of an industry conference. “We are starting to explore it.”

Intel has said it wants to grow its processor and software presence outside the traditional markets and has invested in a number of green technology companies through its venture capital arm Intel Capital.

Wind and solar power have gained in popularity but mass adoption has been hindered by the fact that neither power works around the clock. Solar panels don’t work at night and wind turbines only spin when the wind blows.

“We see numerical forecasting (in wind) as very interesting opportunity,” he said, adding that “every extra bit of granularity and predictability” on wind power is very valuable.

Another sector that Intel is eyeing is electric vehicles.

Skinner said that transportation industry is “very ripe” for the application of microprocessors.

“Electric vehicles are going to contain a lot of electronics,” he said, adding that Intel could see itself being involved certain aspects of the electric car such as energy management and range prediction.

“It would be an extension of our business in telematics,” he said.

Reporting by Poornima Gupta; editing by Carol Bishopric