Intel Plans Push into Mobility, Emerging Markets

At a gathering of analysts in New York, the world’s largest chip maker unveiled plans to use its 45-nm technology to enter new markets, while increasing the number of processors and platforms for laptops and ultramobile devices.

At a meeting of financial analysts in New York on May 3, CEO Paul Otellini said the company’s road map, which includes the launch of 45-nanometer processors later in 2007, is on schedule. This, according to company executives, will allow Intel to take advantage of new markets, while regaining market share that it lost to Advanced Micro Devices.

Specifically, Otellini said the company would focus its efforts on delivering processors that take advantage of the growing market for mobile devices, such as laptops, ultramobile PCs and mobile Internet devices.

In addition, Intel executives said the company is continuing to cut costs and is looking to save $2 billion this year and an additional $3 billion in 2008. The cost cutting and the elimination of about 10 percent of its work force, first announced in September 2006, has let Intel streamline its operations, while allowing it deliver products to market faster.

Click here to read about the latest from the Intel Developer Forum.

“We have picked up the pace of our technology development,” Otellini said. “We have a number of products that are on [track] to come out soon, and this will give us sustained leadership in the industry. We are also focused on efficiency and agility.”

This push is also meant to put more pressure on AMD, which has been struggling financially during the last two quarters. According to a Mercury Research report released April 30, Intel gained back six points in the overall x86 market and now has an 80.5 percent market share, while AMD has slipped from 25.3 percent to 18.7 percent.

“Intel gained more than six points of share in the first quarter due to AMD’s large downturn in unit shipments,” wrote Dean McCarron, an analyst with Mercury.

With that in mind, Intel executives told analysts May 3 that the company will keep pushing forward with a renewed emphasis on mobility, low-cost PCs for emerging markets, and technological innovations.

On the mobility front, Otellini said the Santa Clara, Calif., company will launch “Santa Rosa,” the fourth generation of its Centrino platform, on May 9. The new platform will come to the market as the Centrino Duo for consumers and Centrino Pro for enterprise customers. The Centrino Pro version will include Intel’s vPro technology.

In addition to the launch of Centrino, Otellini said the company is preparing for the launch of new mobile platforms in 2008. One of those platforms, called “Menlow,” is specifically aimed at mobile Internet devices. Menlow will include a new processor called “Silverthorne,” which will be built on the company’s 45-nanometer Hi-K manufacturing process.

This new chip will also contain Intel’s System-on-a-Chip technology, which combines Intel Architecture processor cores on the same piece of silicon as the memory and I/O. During the meeting, Otellini held up a 300-milimeter wafer that contained 2,500 Silverthorne microprocessors on a single die.

All of these developments are geared toward mobile products, including laptops, home entertainment devices and other devices used to deliver the Internet.

AMD hosts a press and analyst luncheon to hype its mobile processing strengths compared with the upcoming Intel “Santa Rosa” chip. Click here to read more.

Sean Maloney, executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s Mobility Group, said processors such as Silverthorne will offer the same browser and Internet capabilities as a standard PC. Shrinking the size of the chip and being able to produce more chips at one time will allow Intel to sell these devices at a lower cost, he said.

“Millions of people will use these devices if they are cheaper,” Maloney said.

While IDC is predicting that notebook sales will represent 50 percent of worldwide PC shipments in 2011, Intel is predicting that laptops sales will hit that same threshold by 2009. The trend of OEMs selling more notebooks, Otellini said, is not limited to mature markets but will also encompass emerging markets, where “a customer’s first PC may be a notebook.”

A large portion of Thursday’s presentation was meant to assure analysts and industry watches that the company would be able to deliver its new products on time, an issue that Intel has struggled with in the past.

Intel executives stressed that the company would deliver the first of its 45-nanometer “Penryn” processors by the end of 2007. That will include three dual-core processors—Penryn for notebooks, “Wolfdale” for desktops and “Wolfdale DP” for servers—as well as two quad-core models, “Harpertown” for servers and “Yorkfield” for desktops.

On the client side, the 45-nanometer processor will offer, for example, 25 percent greater performance in three-dimensional rendering compared with current offerings. On the other hand, the server models promise 45 percent better performance in bandwidth-intensive high-performance computing applications.

Intel executives also reiterated some of the plans that were first revealed at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, China, in April. Upcoming products include “Nehalem,” a new microarchitecture based on the company’s 45-nanometer manufacturing process, which will arrive in 2008. Nehalem will be followed by a new 32-nanometer processor called “Westmere” in 2009, which will be followed by “Sandy Bridge,” a new microarchitecture slated to arrive in 2010.

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