Intel told its investor day last week it would be producing 2m units a week of its latest “Ivy Bridge” processors by the end of June, but the chipmaker faces fresh competition from Tuesday’s consumer and business announcements by rivals AMD and Nvidia.
AMD launched its second-generation “Trinity” processors, touting longer battery life and lower prices than Intel’s offerings for notebooks and PCs, while Nvidia threatened to challenge Intel in the data centre and enterprise with the unveiling of its VGX graphics processing unit (GPU) platform. Read more
Intel told its “Ivy Bridge” launch event in San Francisco on Monday it had more than 670 PC systems lined up to use this third-generation Core processor family.
That’s an unprecedented number of design wins for the world’s biggest chipmaker. It signifies that either this is one hot processor, or lengthy delays to it have created pent-up demand, or maybe the PC industry is gearing up for a big year, with Windows 8 launching. It could be all three, or something else, but Intel stuck to the silicon’s merits in its presentation. Read more
Intel has launched its next-generation server processor to boost its presence in data centres and cloud storage, while at the same time pooh-poohing an acquisition by rival Advanced Micro Devices in the same area.
At a launch event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Intel said the Xeon E5 product family represented up to an 80 per cent performance improvement over its previous generation. It said it was not impressed with the server technology of SeaMicro and declined to buy it before AMD announced a $334m deal last week. Read more
Sean Maloney asks the question that is on my mind before I get to ask it. “Do you think I’m better or that I’m not better?” he inquires, barely 15 minutes into our conversation.
In his case, it is not such an odd question. Two years ago, he did not even know if he would talk again after suffering a stroke. He had been running with his 20-year-old son, then sat on the bed in his San Francisco home and everything went blank. “When I woke up there was nothing. It was terrible, waking up like that and asking what was I doing with my life,” he recalls.
By then, the London-born Mr Maloney was widely seen as the heir apparent to Paul Otellini, Intel’s chief executive, who is due to step down in 2015. Mr Maloney had risen rapidly through the ranks at the company since joining in 1982 – but the stroke called his inexorable ascent into question. “It almost killed me,” he says. Read more
Intel has announced a management reshuffle that provides fresh clues to the eventual successor to Paul Otellini as chief executive.
Brian Krzanich, (pictured left), head of manufacturing, is also taking on a chief operating officer role – a position that has not existed since Mr Otellini held it prior to becoming CEO in 2005. Read more
Intel and Toyota are getting behind the wheel together to carry out research on next-generation “in-vehicle infotainment systems”.
It all sounds very vague at this stage and executives at a media briefing on Thursday could not provide any date for when an Intel Atom microprocessor might power such systems in Toyota cars. But the deal represents a big-name partnership for Intel in an industry it still views as a new market for Atom and where it needs such breakthroughs. Read more
Intel has quietly ditched its Digital Home Group, which had championed the Smart TV category of internet-connected televisions – a target market for its Atom microprocessors. The company made the high-profile appointment of Erik Huggers from the BBC in January to head what was described at the time as a “key strategic business for Intel”. An Intel spokeswoman said on Wednesday that Mr Huggers was remaining at Intel but Digital Home was not now considered a core business. Read more
Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, announced on Tuesday $4.4bn of investments involving chipmakers that would make his state “the epicentre for the next generation of computer chip technology”. Silicon Valley may be surprised to hear it has been dethroned and, cutting through the political point-scoring, the real significance here for semiconductors seems to be a readiness of the main players to cooperate on moving to the next-generation of silicon wafers. Read more
Taiwan’s Asus has been a keen early supporter of Intel’s ‘Ultrabooks’, with chairman Jonney Shih appearing on stage with Sean Maloney, head of Intel China, to make the announcement and show off the first model in May.
The vision was for these thin, responsive notebooks to revolutionise the traditional PC industry, which has come under increasing challenge from smartphones and tablets. Intel’s ambition is for ultrabooks to make up 40 per cent of the consumer notebook PC market by the end of next year.
Yet the reality, Asus’ chief executive Jerry Shen said on Friday, is that a 40 per cent share is “a very aggressive target that would be difficult to meet before 2013”. Read more