Intel refuses to surrender the lower-end of the market.
Years ago AMD was putting pressure on Intel to continue innovating on the high end, but fast forwarded to 2013 and Intel is the last man standing. The new war is in ultra-low powered chips, and the company is years behind. Intel’s response to ARM was the ATOM series of processors, but they were stuck trying to power a heavy and bloated Microsoft OS, while ARM had custom designed operating systems that extended battery life, and created an entirely new market. This year the two companies are destined to meet in the middle, and it will be a pivotal moment in the history of computing. Intel has announced its plans to compete with the current crop of dirt cheap ARM based devices, and to the winner goes the spoils.
Intel today announced that its president and CEO, Paul Otellini, is calling it quits after nearly 40 years of continuous service to the company and its shareholders. Otellini, who's only the fifth CEO in Intel's 45-year history, gave the company six months notice to find a replacement, as his retirement will become official in May 2013. A successor has not yet been named, though Otellini did say he will make himself available as an adviser after stepping down.
Together Microsoft and Intel have ruled the PC industry for a ridiculously long time, but with smartphone and tablet sales going through the roof, they now have a lot to think about. While both parties don’t seem entirely averse to venturing out of their longstanding relationship, Intel’s Android-compatible Medfield SoC and Microsoft’s ARM-friendly Windows RT OS seem little more than half-hearted attempts at being unfaithful. On Wednesday, however, a report that Intel CEO Paul Otellini had been heard criticizing Windows 8 in a recently held company meeting in Taiwan painted a slightly different picture.
The Ultrabooks are coming, the Ultrabooks are coming! Wait, aren't they already here? Sure they are, but during a recent quarterly earnings call, Intel CEO announced that a flood of new Ivy Bridge-packing ultraportable laptops is heading our way, and a big chunk of them are shipping with touchscreens -- just in time for the release of the touchscreen-friendly Windows 8.
Intel's 22nm processors, better known as Ivy Bridge, are fresh out of the fab and have given the Santa Clara's Core architecture a kick in the pants. But is the successor to Sandy Bridge and Sandy Bridge-E already old news? Not exactly, though a peek at Intel's Research & Development roadmap reveals that a 14nm manufacturing process is already in development, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
You won't catch many power users trading in their gaming notebook or desktop for a tablet PC. Tablets are fun, useful, and convenient, but in our minds, they're complementary products, not replacement PCs. But what about mainstream folk who are only interested in hopping online to browse the Web and sort through emails? It's conceivable that certain segments would choose a tablet over a notebook or desktop, and with consumers not spending as much on PCs as of late, is it fair to say that tablets are cannibalizing PC sales? Intel CEO Paul Otellini tackled that question head on.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini wasn't about to mince words when talking about tablets and the job Apple did bringing the category back to life with its iPad. At the same time, Otellini also gave fair warning to all involved that Intel has every intention of dominating the tablet space, just as it has the netbook/nettop segment.
"I know the big question on everyone's mind is how Intel will respond to new computing categories where Intel currently has no presence, specifically tablets... We think tablets are exciting and fully welcome their arrival," Otellini began. "Apple has done a wonderful job reinventing the category. Will they impact PC sales? Sure, at the margin they probably will."
And that's where the praise ended.
"We will use all of the assets at our disposal to win this segment," Otellini declared. And when you're talking about $11 billion quarters, Intel has plenty of assets to throw around. It all starts with Oak Trail, Intel's Atom processor derivative aimed at tablets.
"We have very good silicon with Oak Trail," Otellini said.