‘Our young people are as good as any in the world. It’s our job to help them’

3 Jun 2010

A national strategy with education at its heart is key to future prosperity, says Intel’s Jim O’Hara.

Any visitor to Intel’s massive chip fabrication facility in Leixlip would be familiar with a photo-essay book called One Digital Day, which sits in its reception area. Produced in the late Nineties when PCs were Intel’s biggest growth engine and the internet was just taking off, the book’s introduction reads: “Today there are nearly 15 billion microchips of some kind in use – the equivalent of two powerful computers for every man, woman and child on the planet.”

Zoom forward to 2010 and you can imagine the number of microchips in the world has skyrocketed, with an estimated 4 billion mobile phones in use worldwide at any one time and 1 billion personal computers.

Some 400 million computers will ship this year; 10 million of these will be the new tablet devices like the Apple iPad, two million of which have been sold in just two months.

To Jim O’Hara, general manager of Intel in Ireland and his colleagues, we are still only in the Dark Ages of the IT revolution, which will transform not only technology but also healthcare and science and much, much more.

Read more of ‘Our young people are as good as any in the world. It’s our job to help them’ at Digital 21.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Intel Ireland general manager Jim O’Hara believes we need to create the education system, the incentives and the infrastructure for future generations of Irish people – and then get out of their way

www.digital21.ie – Digital 21 is a campaign to highlight the imperative of creating an action programme to secure the digital infrastructure and services upon which the success of our economy depends.


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years