Interview with Intel’s Hernan Quijano
Recently at the 2019 Intel Experience Day, I had the pleasure of sitting down with veteran Hernan Quijano for a 1-on-1 discussion on the future of the various projects Intel has been working on. Hernan has been with Intel for 17-years, having started with them as an intern when he was a college student in Columbia. After having worked with the company for a few years, he moved to Brazil, continuing work with them for five years before leaving for the United States, where he’s been based out of for the past decade. Hernan now holds the title of Global Sales Manager for Gaming, Creation, and VR, and he had much to say about the exciting times ahead for gamers, streamers, and content creators.
Q: Having been all over the world, Hernan, what would you say are the significant differences in consumer markets? How does the U.S. vary from Europe, or South America, for example?
A: When we enable the market, we try to have different solutions for each country. Countries will analyze and make decisions on what’s best for them. Some markets prioritize power consumption over processing power, for instance. Intel builds a variety of systems for this purpose. Some are incredibly robust, and some are thin and light, but the question is, where do we best utilize each system.
Q: How does Intel plan to compete with the other giants of the industry moving forward?
A: These days, most games use between four and six cores. Moving forward with our systems, it’s crucial to find the perfect balance between the number of cores and the speed at which they can operate. For example, our new i9-9900KS is eight cores, and each one of those cores will reach 5GHz. It makes no sense to have something with more cores, but not as fast. So we are always looking at the games’ engines, whether it be Unity, or Unreal, or whatever, and using real-world scenarios and real-world content creation applications to make sure we have the right platform for the stage of the software.
Q: What would you say has been the most exciting development in your line of work recently?
A: Well, the explosion of E-Sports has been incredible. When we go to these events, and we see entire sections of people cheering on their teams – and then we open our phones and see on Twitch that there are literally millions of people watching – it’s just a surprise that we don’t ever get tired of seeing. We love the social aspect of E-Sports as well – you get online, you socialize, you’re disciplined, and you work hard. If, for example, you have a terrible sleep and then the next morning try to play competitive Counter-Strike, you’ll most likely get crushed! So we love to see how this is teaching a lot of young players the values of working hard, developing strategies, and thinking on your feet. You could sum all of that up by simply saying what’s been most exciting for me has been helping gamers reach their full potential.
Q: During your presentation, you mentioned the potential for E-Sports and the Olympics to come together. Is this something you can see happening relatively soon, or is this something that you think is a distant dream at this point?
A: Well, we’re already engaged with the Olympic committee. We’ve signed a multi-year partnership with them, hoping to show people that we’re committed for the long haul. This isn’t just something we wanted to do for one set of Olympics. Right now, we have the masses. The amount of people that are following E-Sports is humongous. E-Sports are very competitive, and you need to train constantly. You need to focus, work with a team, and dedicate your life to it in much the same way other Olympic athletes do. For these reasons, we think there is a place for E-Sports in the Olympics. We want it to be successful, and we’re working very hard with them to make sure we properly implement E-Sports into the Olympics.
Q: Moving away from E-Sports, how do you expect Intel and content creators to come together in the future?
A: I will say that for me, after things like E-Sports and streaming, content creation is the most important thing. Content creation today feels a lot like how gaming felt when it was exploding all those years ago. In the past, you would often find someone interested in content creation would go out and buy a gaming system (PCs, laptops). The problem with this, however, is you would inevitably end up with features that weren’t relevant to content creators. Moving forward, our content creation machines will empower creators like never before with features like 4K dual screens, color calibration (which is crucial to achieving accurate previews of your work), and external ports like Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt will make it so, for example, if you have a 10-gigabyte external drive you’d like to use for a project, the file transfer speeds will be so minute that it will feel like your external drive is a built-in piece of hardware. Then there are things like stylus’ and touch screens, which are crucial to content creators.
But aside from just the physical hardware, what Intel is doing is looking at the whole pipeline. If you’re a photographer and you take a few pictures, how do you get those files into your computer? Which software do you use? How fast is this process? Finally, how would you export those files? This is what I mean by looking at the whole pipeline of content creation, and not just the things we see at face value. Intel is making this process easier and faster than ever.
Q: Wrapping up here, Hernan, what’s in store for YOUR future?
A: My future? Well, as long as it involves fast computers, I’ll be happy. Cloud gaming is coming, and we don’t really see it as a threat to the traditional gaming industry, but what we do see is the potential for expansion and growth. With cloud gaming, we have a vision where you’ll be using our client at home (notebooks, desktops) where you can play your games, our network so you can communicate with the cloud with low latency, and then the best cloud computing on the market. Figuring out how to have all that data flow seamlessly has put Intel into a unique position, and I’m excited to see where we take it. On top of this, next year, we’ll be set to release our line of Xe graphics cards, which will open the door for us to have another component added to the entire platform.
Thank you to Hernan Quijano and Intel for the opportunity to attend Intel Experience Day 2019, and for the chance to sit down one-on-one for this interview.